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Full text of "Confessions of a wife [microform]"

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This itMTi is f ilmtd at ttM radtietion ritio chadtad batow/ 

Ce documanl ast f ilmi lu tau> da rUuction indiqiii ci-dassous. 



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Confessions of a 
Wife 



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"TBI S£CMTA,v WAS R^DINO : 







■■*^ 



CONFESSIONS OF A 
WIFE 



MARY ADAMS 



WITH ILLITSTUITIONS BY 

GRANVILLE SMITH 




TORONTO 
THE COPP. CLARK COMPANY. LIMITED 









CoPTElaHT nt t7lllTK> STATn, 1908, 
Bl THE CENTURY COMPANY. 



Entered MMriinsr to Act ot the PMlUunent of CmkU, 1„ the y«r one 
thousand nine hundred and two, by Th. Copp, Clahi. Cohtmt, Lmrrrn 
Toronto, OntMlo. in the Offloe ol the Minltter 01 Ajrioultuifc 



wA^ 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

The «creurywa, reading dutifully. . . . Fron,i,fie» 
I w.a half startled at the figure I saw there . ."!" \Z 
With Marion', first Christmas tree across his shoulder .60 
"My poor daughter!" 

180 

"Let me come, Mrs. Herwin" . oc 

200 

"Pity Popper!" said Marion, distinctly j^^ 



Vll 



CONFESSIONS OF 
A WIFE 



'J&Ss^' 



■ ^"^Nr-,". 



CONFESSIONS OF 
A WIFE 



Tif j;!th " f'^ '""^ ""• ^' ™kcs feces 
X at me wher / go to the window. like a bi^ 
gargoyle; it has the dignity that Mo„ ' f 
ughness and character. I '„, afraid I was^on 
a heathen for beauty's sake; for all the ZuZ 

IS kep busygoing into sackcloth and doine 
penance for my esthetic sins. I have nevef 
oved any person who was not beautiful. Bu 
XoX"^^"^''^^'^"'-^P-P'-^ather. 

The wind starts a long way off to-night, and 
«.rs and .lengthens with a tefrible delifeit ;„ 

stand It, and you don't care whether anything 
canornot. I feel as if I could open the wSdow 



4 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

and let myself drop, sure that it would lift me 
up and carry me, and I sh.uld n't in the least 
mmd where. I dream of doing that often. 

To-day I found something which pleased me 
It was in that old French book of Father's that 
I read aloud in to keep up my accent. It was 
about a princess in a shallop on a river — no, 
I '11 copy it, rather; it seems to me worth while' 
which is saying something, for most things do 
not strike me that way. I wish I knew why. 

The prince,, wa, . ,e..prince«. but she lived in an inland 
country, and when the water-,oul within her called. ,he had 
only a river wherewith to wti.fy it. So ."-e floated out in her 
ahallop upon the river, nor would .he let any person guide 
the jhallop. neither her men nor her miidens. but loved the 
feel of the oar, and the deference of it to her own ,oft hand,. 
And , he chose the hour that precede, and follow, the ,etting 
of the sun, for it wa, a fiur hour, and the river wa, comely. 
And drifting. ,he thought to row. and rowing, she thought 
to drift; ,0. drifting and rowing, she had her will, for no 
one gainMid her. And she was a f«r princess, though a 
haughty, and many men crowned her in their hearts, but to 
none of them did she incline. And certain knights took 
boat, and aought to overtake her upon the river, for she 
«emed to drift. But when they drew nearer to her. drift- 
ing, they perceived that she wa, rowing, and, row thev never 
•o .turdily, ,he did keep the shallop in advance of them, nor 
did she concern herself with them, for she wa, a prince,,, 
and .he had the sea in her heart, while they were but knights, 
Md contented themselve, with the river, having been born 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 5 

with riv.r.,oul,, in ,he rive, country. And .he wcried 
her, ,0 ,h., ,hc rowed .he ..ronger for her di«l,i„. ,nd 
«c.ped ,hem .11. .hough nov.- «,d .hen bu. by . .hallop', 

Now i. chanced ih.. .here .ppe.r.d upon .he river . new 
o.r being ,he oar of . prince who did di,gui,e him.elf. bu, 
could no. d,.gu,,e hi. ..rote, nor did he row Hke ,h.„ 
o.her. .he Icmgh.. who rowed upon ,he river for her „ke 
who d..d„ned .hen,, .nd .hi. .he prince... being exper. in 
.uch n,«.e,., perceived. Bu. .he prince did no. Zk .o 
over..ke the prmce.,, whereat .he marveled , »nd .he glanced 
backward over .he river, and ob.erved him .ha. h rowed 
no. .0 overtake her. but drifted at the lei.ur: of hi, hear. 

And every day. a. the hour which precede, and follow, 
the .e..ing of the ,un. the prince drifted at .he lei.ure of hi, 
heart. Then did the lei.ure p.,. ou. of .he hear, of the 
pnnce,,. and she marveled exceedingly, both a. heraelf and a. 
h,m who d,d not over.ake her. And while .he glanced, .he 

and behold, he wa, rowing ..eadily. Then .he prince„ 
ben. .0 her oar,, ,he being ,trong and beautiful, and .o 
escaped h,m hke the o.her.. .„d he .aw .ha. .he .miled a. 
she escaped. Bu. he rowed migh.ily. for he wa, a prince 
and he gamed upon her. And she perceived that he gained 
upon her. and i. did not suit her to be overtaken, for thus 
wa, her nature, and .he followed her nature, for ,he wa, 
prmcess, and it wa, permitted her. And ,h, ,mote die 
water and turned her shallop swiftly, and diwppeared from 
hi, sight and from the sight of all tho,e other, whom he had 
distanced upon the river. And the ligh. fell, and the dusk 
rose, and they twain, the escaped and the pursuing, the flee- 
ing and the seeking, were alone on .hat par. of .he river, 
i-or 1. >s not a frequented part of the river. And the prin- 



6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

.^r^^-si^jr* -"""---•- 

I have translatcH as I copied, and the mistakes 
will speak for themselves, as mistakes always do 
Of course .t is a version of Atalanta.- one of 
those modern things that copy the antique with- 
out a b usn.-yet I rather like it. I never Z 
any patience -vith Atalanta. 

1 cannot mend or jom, and I think it must have 
come from some delicate Sevres cup or vase, of 
the quality that breaks because it is L. beautiful : 

I never know why 'ti. I love thee 10 : 
I do not think 't i, th.t thine eye, for me 
Grow bright ., sudden sunshine on the .e,. 

It is thy ftce I see. and it befell 

Thou wert. and I wm, .nd I love thee well. 



"■^hr 



4* 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 7 

A man wrote that, I 'm sure, but he was different 
trom men; and no woman could have written it 

hough she were like women. I must ask Fathr 
to look .t up for me. H- is the most accurate 
quoter I ever knew, and I suppose I h.ve his 
mstmct for quotation, without his actumcv I 
hate etiquette, barbcd-wire fences, kinder^rten 
cuKes. mathematics, politics, law, and dress^oats. 
I like to wear golfokirts, and not to give an 

n the dark, and to get into a ruby gown before 
the fire and wntc like this when I come in. It 
ts one of the nights when March slips into the 
arms of May, and chills her to the heart. 1 
know two things in this world that never, never 
tire me and always rest me -I wonder if they 
always w.ll ? One is a sunset, and the other is 
an open wood fire. 

Mr. Herwin has come in, and is reading to 
Father; the th.ck ceiling, floor, and carpet break 
the insistence of his voice, and it blurs into a 
rhythm hke the sound of waves. I don't alto- 
gether like his voice, and it 's more agreeable 
taken through a medium of fresco and Wilton 
carpet^ Robert Hazelton had a pleasant voice. 
Poor Rob ! But he was too short, and he is verv 
plain. ' 

Oh, that wind! It roars like a fierce, ele- 



■ «*;i^-: 



8 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



^ kind to me and I ,h u k """" *'°"''^ 

tree^ and wish they were nin// ^ ^ "'""'' 
Tf fh.„ I ^ P'"** '»"d ve-oaks 

't they always remain elms), and I th.^k l' 

«|ould never b, carried too high so as to 

smmm 

<"'■'»!« Of At dad .nJ ,k •* "'"°" 

*. «./ng. And ?*|"°k''_l'" """ ""'-« of 

into the garden. The storm • ^ ■ ^ 

wenf «i, ". • '^'" °" the head — I 

went. Slapped on the cheek, smitten in the 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 9 

eyes, breath-beaten and storm-shaken, a fighter of 
the night and of the gale, for r' c love of storms 
and for the love of fighting, that was I. I seem 
to myself to have been a creature of the dark and 
the weather, sprung of them, as the wet flowers 
were sprung of the earth, and the felling torrents 
were bom of the clouds. I seem to myself to 
have been a thousandfold more myself out there. 
The drawing-room girl in low dresses and trains, 
receiving beside her fether, doing the proper 
thmg, saying what everybody says,— iven the 
girl who likes Strauss waltzes, and dances once 
in a while till morning,— looked out of the win- 
dow at this other girl, like distant relatives. The 
girl in the garden disowned them, and did n't 
care a raindrop what they thought of her. Oh, 
I did n't care what anybody thought of me ! 
What 's fbe sense in being alive if you can't h'rl 
away other people's thoughts and respeit your 
own? I suppose, if it comes to that, it 's well 
to have your thoughts respectable. Truly, I 
don't think mine have ever been disreputable. 
Come, Mama Trent! Out with it! Have they? 
No — no. I really don't think they have. I 
can't answer for what they might be, if it stormed 
hard enough, and I 'd been to too many recep- 
tions, and I could n't get into rubber boots and 
d waterproof and run about gardens. 



'° ^ONFESSlom OF A . 
^''en you c ^'^^ 

garden? tZ T *° ''""k of ,> .. 
there arc hr t "'"' ^^<= «one anS ' "^^"^ '' » 

Jocks fh ^ "'■'' °"t and fh» ^ ^"^ top, 

^"o^SH.herclJ *' '"'^''^ the theater^ \^"'- 
P-P'e in rc7ut"^''°hen,;a„ th/riT,^ 

'''- colored jSh?'"^ "P ^"d doC an? '' '""'' 
honieatanvlr "' '"^^ *e coff' '"^'^^- 
' '"^^ oil^oat an7' 1 ^""''^ ^ear an n f ^ 
' should golT^ " ^^''^"nan'sjoui" .■"""'' 
do — I „/^ ' ^""der where* ^T*'"' ^d 
J«'onderwhat? ^"" " «"d J ^houJd 

1 am a ct' I 
And that 's baH ^' ' ^"'^ ' stay ;„ ,h 

*">■ foi ouw ^j-'o^'-^i ■ K '"r 



f 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE u 
I 'm glad that woman does n't know it 
eit er'Tni '""''"'^''•^ "'"^^ ^^'''"'^ garden. 

fh- oeiieve the storm-sou got me a<! 

;«te7r "' ^""^ ^"'^'--''- "obodT «! 

only they can't wallow round alng wet hint' 
■n rubber boots and golf-skirts. Who wodd S 
a pnncess .f she could be the daughter Tf a„ ex 
governor and live in a big, dull s^burb^n plS- 
with a garden seven acres across ? ^ 

I went out into the mrdpn T o„ j . 

st.medli.e the Last Day^zt'aL^th:^^^^^^^ 

saw me, for the servants were n't about and the 
secretary was reading "The Life of I'f' 
Choate to Father (Father always chooses some 

op of Mr. Herwm's head as I crept by the 
l.brary w.ndows-he has rather a nic'e headtf 
h's hair were n't too curly. I don't likeT'i 
-n, but straight ones, JeFathtS'toodt 



12 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



-"dying law, fo"T„rda;Vt"JdT t'"= '^ ''^ 
bear lawyers anH h , ^"" ^ •^""'d n't 

Pression,Seh t ;o?r"^' ^ ^"^^^'^ - 
him so. I never h k '''^°™'"& and I told 

Mr. Herw „ The"; "iJ.^"^ ^'^ ^^ «" -''h 
Disguise .an„e?aSu L'':S^^-^'>--- 
•on, the circun,sta„ces do'jS 'T/.Tr 
a panther strokeH th» Justity. j fggl like 

see hi„,. Itftll, vel"""^ "'^ ^^"^ ^'-'^ I 
around. I shLTd th nTS' ^'"" ^ ''^^ '''=- 
to death of him but he k''''"''^ ^" ^''^^'l 

young man" ' '^^^ ''^ '^ "a brilliant 

-all, with broken bottles on top m ! '" 
what I should have H«n- -u "o '^"o^'s 



ing to 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 13 

have my father know. He might have seen any 
other page m this book • T -^ k • ^ 

if he U.A f T ' ^'""^ S'ven it to him 

.t he asked for ,t. I wonder if this is the way 
people fee when they have done some dreadft^ 
th,ng-l,ke one person before the deed and an- 
other person after, and not able to convince any- 
body else that .t is n't the same person at all \ 
feel very strangely, and a little seasick, as if 
had just got off a shipwreck 

1 went out into ti,e garden, and it stormed as 
•f the sk.es were breaking up and coming to 
pieces on the earth, and burying it under . 
-ght think they were asha^el ;: Le -/^d" 
nd '''?\^'iT'''^ '^^ temper into a hurricane! 
and, oh. but I loved it! I loved it! And I ran 
around m ,, and I stiffened myself and fouX 
agamst ,t, and turned and drew my wa'e 3 
hood up and fled before it; and I don't '-2 
wh,ch I hked the better, the battle or the fliZ 
for I love everything that such a storm as tha' 

betore I got past the smoke-bush and the big 
sp.r.a m the clump by the tree-house, and my 

and I ctfd f T "'!• ' '°'^ '" '"y ^"•'l'- boots, 
and I could feel my feet squash in the wet. And 



H CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

about the skJDDerl!. u '"'^ *^^ °"^ I «ke 
Skippers daughter and the mate: 

"■■■." """ '"'8''; ^"■' '» Hcil in your companie." 

"Why not to Heaven?" quo' she. 

Job I sa,d, "you know better than this"' 

And so do you," it said. " ^ 

And there stood a man. 

I jumped, but I did not scream T h 
much consolation; but I hale nT"" k ' '" 
He was very wet,'but not le Tsl " hT 
--d to shed the storm from rm^cki a: 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 15 

if it had been impudence. He looked exceed- 
mgly tall in the dark, and his soft felt hat was 
crushed down over his face in a disgraceful way 
I had never noticed how square his shoulders 
were. 

"Sir," said I, "how did you get here?" 
"Why, I followed Job, of course," he said 
"Could you follow him back ? " I sugeested 
quite pleasantly. 
" Not immediately — no." 
"If James should come out by accident — 
and he m.ght, you know -he would shoot you 
for a burglar, as surely as you stand here I 
don't see," I said -" really, Mr. Herwin, I don't 
see what you are standing here>r." 

" I v/iil explain to you if you like," answered 
the secretary. He spoke so steadily, with that 
Heir-to-the-Throne manner of his, that I found 
It impossible to endure it, and I said : 

" I think you forget what is due to me. You 
had better go back and read ' Rufus Choate ' to 
my father." 

"That is unworthy of you,'- he answered me 
very quietly. 

Of course I knew it was, and that did n't 
make me feel any better. I let Job down, for 
he squirmed so under my waterproof, and in- 
sisted on kissing Mr. Herwin, which I thought 



i6 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



He^ . /. ^^ pneumonia it will be Mr 
Hemn's feult, nnd I shall never forgive him 
never By this time we had begun to^wllk „ ' 
and down, up and down, for itlas pre^y told 

across the garden fighting the gale and running 
from t,- first th.s, then that,- we two J and f 
-an, just as I had done alone. Job 'splashed 
after us, m h.s insufferably adorable, patient way 
only the paths were so narrow tha Job had S 

traL\?;^^„r^^^-^-^--^'^^-;elt: 

'•I 'm ..ot ready to go into the house." 

You are getting very wet." 
" That 's what I came out for " 
"Sometime you 'll do this once too often." 
^^ I have done .t once too often, it seems " 

erable.'"^''"'' ^"" "''' P"^"'"«"'^- It is intol- 

"It is Job who has pneumonia, not I Pick 

n Ur>. wr>r.'f ■..„.. On... ^"^ 



him 



up, won't you? Put him under 



your 



mackin^sh. He must be sopping.' Tha^k'yr 
Why, tiant you ! I really did n't think -■• 

•Don't you really think that I would do any- 
thmg whatever that you asked me to ? " ^ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 17 

"I never gave the subject any consideration, 
Mr. Herwin." 

" Then," he said, wheeling, " consider it now ! " 
A cataract of rain swept c-own *"rom the trees 
over our heads, and drowned the words off his 
hps. A street light looked over the wall. I 
could see the broken bottles glisten, and a faint 
electric pallor flitted over that part of the garden 
by the tree-house in the Porter apple-tree. Now, 
the tree-house has a little thatched roof and it 
IS n't quite so wet in there, though it is only lat- 
tice at the sides, and sometimes I go in there 
when my storms are particularly wet — for no- 
body would think what a difference there is in 
storms; some of them are quite dry. 

"Come!" said the secretary. And he took 
hold of my hand as if he had been an iron man. 
Of course all he meant was to put me into the 
driest wetness there was till the torrent held up a 
little; but when I found myself alone in that 
tree-house in the storm, in the dark, with that 
man, I could have stabbed him with something, 
if I had had anything sharp about me. But I 
had the sense left not to say so. 

"I 've always wanted a name for this tree- 
house," I began ; " now I 've got it." 

And the man said " Ararat ! " before I got the 
word out. I did n't suppose he was that kind of 
man. And I began to feel quite comfortable 



|8 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



il?srri't;?::*r'"^'-'"- 

The storm had gone bahhlm„ j 
pt past the ravinf stge - '„! f ""'- '' ^="^ 
hand to heln me ,1 u ^ '"' P"' °"t his 

the more exasperating- ^'V'">' ^^'"^'^'^ -^« 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE ,9 

box borders, and the rain had stopped. And 
Mr. Herw.n did not talk at all while we went 
past the spirffia and smoke-bushes, but Job wrig- 
gled out from under his mackintosh and kissed 
h.m m the most unmitigated way. So we came 
on, and the library lights fell out on us from the 
wmdow where I had peeked in ; and Father was 
asleep m his big chair before the fire. And it 
came over me like that ! what a thing I 'd done — 
prancing about in a dark garden, in a storm, 
alone m a tree-house with the secretary, and only 
Job to chaperon me. For I never have done 
such a thmg before in my life. I never did any- 
thmg I should n't want the servants to know. 
And I wondered what Father would think. So 
1 pulled up my waterproof^hood over my bare 
wet head, to hide the scorching of my cheeks! 
But the man had the manners not to notice this 
He did something much worse, however He 
began, m a personally conducted tone that I 
object to : 

"Do you often go out this way in such 
storms i " 

"Always." 

" y°" "I'g'it g^t one of those dangerous colds 
people are having." 

"I could n't get cold that way, any more than 
an English sparrow." 



20 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



The next time you d.. it." sai.1 Mr. Herwin. 

you 5„ f T Tu ^" *'"•" ^•^ *^'''' "-"y time 
you do .t, I shall come out and bring you in " 

Very well." I said; "that would only make 
It tne more interesting." 

The secretary looked at me with a kind of 
proud mofon of his head, for he saw that I 

r;^'"-,^— 0-ybythen.andIwold 
hav stopped h,m, but it was too late. Before 
the library window, in the face of the porch light 
.n ^he sight of my father, he told me how he fet 

"Oh, what a pity!" I said — 

If he had talked that way, if he had looked 
that way. ,f I had known he felt that way out 
on Ararat, in the dark and wet, I should have 

everc'Tf "^- " '""'^"' ^° ''^ ^ - "'an 
ever could forgive a woman for, not if she were 

^.rryt.11 she died for having said it. But it w 
not storming any more. And it seemed different 
m the light and quiet, and with Father so near. 
So I answered as I did. What could a girl do 

-ore? I-msurelwasquiteciviltothe'secre- 
tary. I cant see any particular reason why he 
should get up such an expression as he did 
And he dropped Job, too, and Job growled at 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 21 

So I said good night, but Mr. Herwin did not 
answer me. He lifted his hat, and stood bare- 
headed, and Job and I came, dripping, into the 
empty hall. 

Now we are quite dry and happy. Job is 
done up in his gray blanket that matches his 
blue-skye complexion, bundled before the fire. 
He has had another dose of whisky ; I suspect 
he has got a little too much. I have had a hot 
bath, and got out of everything and into some- 
thing, and now iry ruby gown — especially the 
velvet part of it — seems to me to understand 
me better than anything in the world. The rain 
has quite stopped, but the wind sings down the 
chimney. It has that tune in its head, too, and 
seems to be humuiing it : 

"A man might uil to Hell in your companie." 

But it never gets quite through, comes to a 
pause, falls short of heaven, and spoils the sense. 
Father is still asleep in the library. Maggie 
has come and gone for the night. The house is 
preposterously still. Mr. Herwin did not come 
in again. I did n't know but he would. 



" My dear Mr. Herwin : I hope I was not 
uncivil to you the other evening. I was really 



22 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



verjr wet and cross. I did not mean to be udv 
you know but I -m liable to break out that w^a v." 

like ;„h' ,"I ""'"' ' ^''' '' "'""^ J e^o-'. 

like Job. I hope you quite understand that I 
« eem y ,„y ^Jghly. and that I a.n always 

" Most sincerely yours, 

"Marna Trent." 

,h"u"u'' ^*- ""^"'■' I f^i' to see why I 
should be snapped up in this way. as if I had 
been ,n the hab.t of forcing an unwelcome cor- 

t.on to the fact that you never received a note 
from me before, and this. I beg you to observe 
"s the last w.th which you will be annoyed l' 
did not suppose my friendship was a matter of 
so lit le consequence to people. For my own 
part, I thmk friendship is much nicer than other 
thmgs. According to my experience, that is the 
great pomt on which men and women differ I 
am, sir, 

" Very truly yours. 

"M. Trent." 

There are people so constituted that they must 
express themselves at any proper or improper 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 23 

cost, and I "m afraid I 'm -ne of them. I admire 
the large reserve, the elemental silence that one 
reads about, in what I call the deaf-mute heroes 
and heroines; but I can't imitate it, and whether 
I 'm above or beneath it, I perceive that I have n't 
the perception to know. 

There are four ways in which a woman can 
relieve her mind, if she does n't lavish her heart: 
a mother, a girl friend, a lover, or a book will 
serve her. None of these four outlets is open to 
rne. Ina ! Poor Ina ! You sweet, dead, only 
girl I ever truly cared for ! Sometimes I won- 
der if my mother's lovely ghost is a little jealous of 
you, because I can't remember her to love her 
as I loved you. Pray tell her. Dear, if you get a 
chance in that wide world of yours and hers, that 
I have never thought about her in .ill my life as 
much as I have this spring. She seems to float 
before me and about me, in the air, wherever I 
go or stir. 

A good many people have told me that I 
ought to he a writer, which only shows the mas- 
sive ignorance of the average human mind. It 
sometimes seems to me as if I must carry " Re- 
jected, with thanks " written all over me, I have 
explored that subject so thoroughly. I am told 
that there are persons who have got manuscripts 
back seventeen times, and have become famous 



24 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



poetry, and I Tm done ^^ [1-1" '"'^ ""' 
this world. '"^'y '='"'^«f ^or 

secrets thereof, if you have any '° ' 

"The Accepted Manuscript" ' '^^'l ™"e 

seen «, ,„ .p„k „ „ 7', "' "'/""^ "•■■ "». 

eyes, and their expression is positively exasoer 
a .ng. I never denied that Mr. Herwin ^ L" 
handsome man, and melancholy becomes hL 
I 'm bound to admit. But he Ls tlT ' 

air as if I h^A u ^ ^"^^ remote 

l^yZ 1 ''^" '■■'"eht stabbing him and 

nobody knew it but himself and me and h 

wouldn't tell ofme, lest I be held u;:;C: 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 25 

execration ; it is a manner quite peculiar to Mr. 
Herwin. I don't nr-iopcj to know how the man 
does it, but he c.itrives to iuke me feel as if I 
had committed ; l-i, treasor as if I had got en- 
tangled ina polit; ulpicc a.;ainst my own nature. 
I wis.. Father would dismiss him and get an- 
other secretary. 

I told him so yesterday, for I got a chance 
when we met in the hall, and I was going out to 
drive in my dove-colored cloth, trying to open 
my chiffon sunshade that stuck. He opened it 
for me — he is quite a gentleman, even when I 
don't choose to be quite a lady, and I will own 
that no invariable lady ought to have said what 
I said to the secretary. And the aggravating 
thing about it was that the secretary laughed— he 
laughed outright, as if I had amused him more 
than I could be expected to understand. He 
had the sunshade in his hand, and he held it over 
my head, and he said : " What pretty nonsense ! " 
But he looked at the white silk and chiffon, with 
the sun shining through it. I was n't quite clear 
what he meant. I 'm not accustomed to have 
my sunshades called nonsense, or my language 
either. I never heard of a governor's secretary 
before who was impertinent to the governor's 
daughter. I can't see that Senator Herwin's 
having been an honest person, and dying poor, 



26 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



, '" *^^ 3 Southern beauty the evf^, 
k.nd, and that she led her husband f ^"1' 
never saw her, but I 'm sure fh. 
sembles his mother Hel J '"'"'^ ^'■ 
handsome when he is ins":nt'^ "^^'^'''^ 

"My dear Mr. Herwin- t u 

brutal light' As ifl ■ '^ °"' '" '"'^'^ ^ 

"' I'giic. As It It were a c rl's ftnlf k»„ 
a man liked her J ^ " fc'"« «"" because 

. .he>ind „Lo™„ S'c* JLltL' il 
loving peoDle? P„,k "'"WDeaten into 

am neither. coaxed. Learn that I 

"But believe me to be, 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Marna Trent. 

woddl Joir friL'd ' Yo' ^7 T' ^''^ ^"^ 
shin o„^ *°" '■^^"sed my friend- 

ship, and now you wonder that I decliL your 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 27 

love It seems to me that a man ought to be 
satisfied w,th what he can get, and not make 
such large demands that nobody can possibly 
meet them. If I were a man, and loved a woman 
as much as all that, I would -well, I would do 
quite differently." 

"Dear Mr. Herw.n: Certainly not. Why 
shovld I tell you what I would do if I were a 
man ? I cannot see that the circumstances call 
tor It. TT , 

Very truly, 

"M. T." 

"My dear Sir : Your last note is disagreeable 
to me. I must h- ■ you to forego any further cor- 
respondence wv .on this subject. It is one 
on which It IS, ar .; will be forever, impossible for 
us to agree. m. Trent." 

"My dear Mr. Herwin: The world is so 
full of women ! I read the other day that there 
are forty millions in this country. I think if you 
really would exert yourself, you might manage 
to love some other one of them. And then you 
and would both be quite happy. You are not 
a dull man (I grant you that), but you don't 
seem to understand my point in the least. It is 
not that I have a highly developed aversion to 



28 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

you. It is that I do not wish to iove any -nan - 
not ^«,, man. Pray consider this as final. You 
can be so agreeable when you are not troublesome. 

"Marna Trent." 

ab e and pos.ble. I never had any objections to 
your frtMp; ,t was you who objected to 
m.ne. Smce you are willing to meet me on that 

bas.s at last I find you interesting and valuable 
o me ; and I am perfectly willing to write to you 

ho K r^ T" '" ' ^''''^' ^'"'^^ y°" wish it, 

hough I prefer to mail anything I may feel like 

saymg to your address. I was sorry the day I left 

a note ,„ ^he second volume of 'Rufus Choate,' 

and I would rather you did not send things by 

Sfk'e ?^ " '^--«h;..g about it I^don' 
just l.ke. I never allowed my heroine to do it in 
the novel I wrote. You never knew I wrote a 
nove^d.dyou? I never told anybody before. 
It is b^r , :,e we are friends that I tell you. That 
■s my ,cea of a friend - somebody you can say 
th'ngs to. I am mistaken in you if you ask me 
why I neve., published it. That V one thing 
like about you -you are not stupid. Yc- are 
one of the people who understand ; and there are 
not enough of them to go round, you know. I 
never knew bur one person who understood- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 29 

that was my girl friend, Ina. She died. Some- 
times I think she died because she understood 
too much — everything and everybody. People 
wasted their hearts on her; they told her every- 
thmg, and went bankrupt in confidence as soon 
as they came near her. 

"Job and I are sitting in the library, and Fa- 
ther has gone to bed. You have been gone half 
an hour. The June-beetles are butting their 
heads agamst the screens on account of the 
hghts, and Job barks and bounces at them every 
time they hit. The moths are out there, too 
clmgmg to the wire netting, and flying about 
stea.th.ly_ beautiful little beings, some of them 
transparent as spirits, and as indifferent to fate as 
men and women. How joyously they court 
death! To look at them one would think it 
quite a privilege. 

"I found the roses when you left, and the 
poems, out in the hall on the hat-tree. You are 
very thoughtful and kind, and, to tell the truth 
1 don't mmd being remembered. I have never 
read much of Edwm Arnold. I shall begin with 
the long one about Radha and Krishna. I have 
turned the leaves a little. I must say I don't 
thmk Krishna was in the least worthy of a cirl 
l.ke that. Why did she waste herself on such a 
teUow T 



30 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"So you liked my shade hat witli the May- 
flowers? That is very nice of you. The disad- 
vantage about a man friend is that his education 
in milhnery is defective, as a rule. I was quite 
pleased that you knew it was a May-flower 
Father asked me if they were hollyhocks, and I 
told him no, they were peonies. 

" Faithfully your friend, 

" Marna Trent. 

" P.S. I forgot to say yes, thank you ; I will 
drive with you on Sunday, if you wish." 

" Oh, now you have spoiled it all ! How could 
you, how could you begin all over again, and be 
disagreeable? Do you suppose I would have 
walked in the garden with you, by moonlight 
by Jtine moonlight, if I had n't trusted you ? I 
don't trust people over again when they shake 
my trust, either, not if I can help it. That is 
one of my peculiarities. I have attacks of lu- 
nacy,— idiocy, if you will,— but I swing back, 
and come to my senses, and look at things with 
a kind of composure which I don't wonder that 
you did not count on. I don't think it is char- 
acteristic of girls, as girls go, and I know that it 
IS not considered admirable or lovable by men 
But I cannot help that, and I don't want to help 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 31 

it, which is more. I prefer to swing back and 
keep the balance of power. 

" Sir, you did wrong to make love to me again 
when I had trusted you to make friendship No' 
I shall be quite unable to play golf with you on 
Saturday, and I shall not be at home on Sunday 
afternoon. I am going out to the cemetery :o put 
some flowers on Ina's grave. And on Monday 
Father has invited an old friend of ours, Dr 
Robert Hazelton, to dinner, so I shall be preen- 
^ged all that evening, while you are reading to 
father, and probably much later. And on Tues- 
day I am going to a dance at the Curtises'. 
I here is one thing I am convinced of- it is the 
greatest mistake, both in li/e and in literature to 
suppose that love is the difficult, the complicated 
thing. It ,s not love, it is friendship, which is 
the great problem of civilized society. The 
other is quite elemental beside it. 

" M. T." 

. , , , 'June the thirteenth. 

If I loved Mr. Herwin, of course I would not 
•n fact I perceive that I could not, make him so 
miserable. I think he is the handsomest man 
when he is unhappy, whom I ever knew in my 

1. u .'.'^ ^° ^"^ 'l"''^ J"'' f« P^°P>e- He has 
the bewildering beauty of a pagan god (I mean. 



32 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

of course, one of the good-looking gods), but he 
has the exasperating sensitiveness of a modern 
man. And then, he has the terrible persistence 
of a savage. I think he would have been capa- 
ble of dashing whole tribes to war for a woman 
and carrying her off on his shoulder, bound hand 
and foot, to his own country, and whether she 
loved h.m or hated him would n't have mattered 
so much — he would have got the woman It 
must be very uncomfortable to be born with such 
a frightful will. 

But I do not love him. I h.-.ve told him that 
I do not love him. I have told him till I should 
think he would be ashamed to hear it again 
But It seems only to make him worse and worse 
He has a kind of sublimated insolence such as I 
never met in any other person, and when I scorn 
him for It, I find that I admire him for it— 
which IS despicable in me. of course, and I know 
It perfectly. 

He had the arrogance to tell me to^lay in so 
many words that I did n't understand myself 
He said -but I will not write what he said. 
The Accepted Manuscript rejects the quotation. 

— Oh. if I could talk with Ina ! My poor Ina ' 

— If I could only put my head on my mother's 
lap a minute ! It seems to me a lonely girl is 
the loneliest being in all the world. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE ^ 

, , y>ine the fourteenth. 

I PUT the date down. I put it down precisely, 
and drive it into my memory like the nail that 
Jael drove into living flesh and bone and brain 
Now that I have done it, I wonder that I am not 
as dead as Sisera. 

I have told a person to-night -I, being sane 
and in my right mind, competent to sign a will, 
or serve as a witness, or be treasurer of a charity 
bazaar -I, Marna Trent, have told a person 
that I — '^ 

How long ago was it? Forty-five minutes, 
by my watch. We were in the drawing-room, 
tor Father had two governors and three senators 
to dinner, and he had them prisoners in the 
library, and the secretary was let off. So Job 
was lying on the flounce of my white Swiss with 
the May-flowers . nbroidered on it, and the lights 
were a little low on account of the June-beetles, 
and there was a moon, and our long lace curtain 
drifted m and out, and blew against me, and I 
got twisted in it like a veil. 

And the secretary said— Then I said — 
He looked like that savage I wrote about- the 
one that flung all the tribes into war. If he had 
picked me up and jumped over the garden wall 
with me, I should n't have been surprised in the 
least. The terrible thing is diat I should n't 

3 



34 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

have much cared if he had. For th. man did 
look as glorious as a dnty But he hTi 
'«;;;-^origi„a.irytote,.„.^Har^L::it;u.''^ 

gory i^nh Tr'-''^": '" ''' '"'•'' «-^' -'I 
gory North American historical novel could n't 

have acted worse than I did. 
For I said I did. 

As so<,n as the words were out of me I could 
have kdled myself And when I saw the ^1 

;,»! '"/ triDc;. Ihere nev-r was a civil- 

ued woman wh., had more of the " tbrest , 
-eval"m her than I. and never one who^: 
less suspected of it. I am thought to be "" e 
a proper person, like other well-bred girls-\"d 

breaks out m miproper ways, but only smolders 
and sharpens knives, and thinks things an j 
hu^s war^ries under its breath -and^ car ie 
ch-ffon sunshades, and wears twelj -bu " 
gWs and sati,. slippers or embroidered My 

.srenafrf"'\^"'^"°^'"'"S-"'''P-^^^^ 
so we I as the fact that my hand and mv brain 

IZT'T' ""^^"'^•^' P''«-S wordsTogei ; 
decently and m order, while I have fled fnto a 
pathless place and hidden from myself Ifhe 
were here this minute, searching m'yL'L'h 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 3^ 

his splendid ey.s, that man could never find me 
I cannot find myself: There is no trail. 

out of th. drawing-room, and left him alone 

Any school-girl might have done as silly a thinu 

can, say that I take any particular comfbrtTn 

he reco I ,o„ „, ^^e fact. But I am convinced 

stance" " '^'"' ""''^ '''^ ^^^ --— 

For the lace curtain blew so, and fell over my 
head a„u face, and I stood up to push it awTy' 
and he sprang to his feet, and his arms- and ^ 
dipped under them, as if we had been playing 

hat gan.,hat children call ..Open the ^at«^ 
let the L,,.^, ,.,^^ ,„ „_,^^^ ^ J whirled about, 

and ,wung out, and I found I was free, and I 

He has n't gone yet. It is perfectly still in 
the draw,ng.room. That is his cigar or, the 
p.azza. I wonder what he -s waiting for? 

ask h>m, for ,t ,s very tiresome up here, and 
cgar-smoke makes me nervous. So I 1 aned 
out a htrle way, and I said : 

"'What are you waiting for, Mr. Herwin?" 

.' You '11 wait a good while, then." 



36 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 
" Oh, no, I sha'n't." 
" Sir, I find you insufferable." 
" Dear, I find you adorable " 

down"?' """"' ^" '"""" ' ="" "« --'"g 

••Mama, come down. I am not going hone." 

Then you will spend the night on the piazza. 

What are you waiting for, anyway ? " 
" To take something." 

"Call James. He has the keys of the wine- 
cellar. 

'' Are you going to be insufferable ? " 
" Well, I -d rather be anything than adorable " 
But, you see, you can't help yourself" 

"You'llfindlcan. ... Whatisityouare 
waiting to take, Mr. Herwin ? " 

" One of my rights." 

" You have no rights, sir." 

"Oh, yes, I have Mama, come down!" 

" I might, if you spoke to me properly." 

" Won't you come down — please ? " 

" I am sorry to disappoint you. But I do not 

please." And then I shut the window down 

But It ,s a pretty warm night, and I could n't 

stand It as long as I thought I could. So I 

opened the window after a while, as softly as a 

moonbeam sliding around the edges of a leaf 

I did n't think anybody could hear me. That 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 37 

man has the ears of an intelligent Cherokee. 
But I shall not write down what he said The 
Accepted Manuscript declines the publication 
ot such language. So I answered, for I had to 
say something: 

" Where is Job, Mr. Herwin ? " 

" On my lap." 

"I must say I don't think much o, his taste. 
What IS he doing?" 

" Kissing me." 

" Oh, good gracious I " . . . 

So I Shut the window down again, and I 
locked It, too. Pretty soon Job came up to mv 
door and cried, and I let him in. But I did n't 
go down. And I didn't open the window. 
And there .s n't air enough in this room to fill 
the lungs ot a moth. And Jobs tongue hangs 
OH- >f his mouth like a long, pink ribbon, he 
pants so. It is ten o'clock. 

It is half-past ten. I have opened the window 
for enough to tuck my silver hand-glass under 
—the little one. By the pronounced absence of 
nicotine from the atmosphere, I infer that the 
secretary has given up a bad argument and gone 
home.- 1 wonder, by the way, what kind of 
home he has'? It never occurred to me to 
wonder, before. Some sort of chambers, I sup- 



38 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

pose, among a lot of bachelors. I should think 
he must be quite comfortable and happy 

The governors and the senators have gone 
too. I have kissed Father good night, and sen; 
Maggie away, for I could n't bear the sight of 
her to-night, and had hard work not to tell her 
so And now Job and I are locked in. Job is 
asleep in his basket bed by the window; and 
when the June-beetles hit on the screen, he 
growls m h,s dreams, for there never was any- 
body so mtelligent as Job; but when the moths 
come, they are so beautiful and so stealthy he 
does not growl. As I write, they whirl and flit, 
and retreat and advance, and yield and persist, 
I'ke half-embodied souls entangled in some 
eternal game. That invisible barrier between 
Aem and delight and death seems to tantalize 
them beyond endurance. 
It is eleven o'clock. 

It is half-past eleven. I have n't begun to un- 
dress I thmk there never was anything worse 
than the weather to-night. I cannot get breath 
enough to think. Job squirms about in his 
basket, and sits up and begs like a china dog in 
a country grocery. I think he wants a walk I 
bel.eve I '11 slip out into the garden with him; 
I ve done ,t before, as late as this. The moon 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 39 

is as bright as an army with banners. There is 
something martial and terrible about it — it 
seems to move right over one, as if it had orders 
to prepare for a vast battle of the elements. I 
believe there '11 be a tremendous easterly storm 
to-morrow. I always know before the weather 
bureau does when an easterly is on the way. 
Perhaps I may come to my senses out in the 
garden. 



It is twelve o'clock — it is, to be precise, half- 
past twelve o'clock. 

I did come to my senses out in the garden — 
or I lost them forever, and the terrible thing is 
that I cannot tell which. 

For Job and I went out into the garden, and 
the world was as white as death, and as warm as 
life, and we plunged into the night as if we 
plunged into a bath of warmth and whiteness — 
and I ran faster than Job. The yellow June 
lilies are out, and the purple fleurs-de-lis; the 
white climber is in blossom on the tree-house, 
and the other roses — oh, the roses ! There was 
such a scent oi" everything in one — a lily-honey- 
iris-rose perfume — that I felt drowned in it, as 
if I had been one flower trying to become an- 
other, or doomed to become others still. It was 
as quiet as paradise. I ran up the steps to 



40 



i 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



Ararat, and Job staved below f« 

The little white ros/f^HowlrreTovVt 
latnce. and seemed to creep after me; i "afa 

^nbe, ,t ,s the kmd of sweetness that makes 
you not want to talk about it The ^7 

■ght in the st.et was ou.for\;Js suburb tt: 

oh thZ ^ "^^^ ™oon enough — 

worlJ- FoT r^'t ' ^'""''' ^- ^^ -hole 
hapnen if^' T ''''' ''^PP^"^'^ -^ich did 

the^viLraS^LkLT^ ;%rr' '^'•'"'^ 

foot of ,h, ,™ t '• "■' ■'"'" "il W" ■*' 
•Dot ol the ttee*o„se sttpi And m I looktj 

X icic joy. I here is something 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 41 

terrible about joy. It does n't seem to mind 
any of the other emotions. 

"Do not be frightened," he said quite gently 
"It is only I." ^ ^' 

// was only he. It was only the only person 
■n the world who could have frightened me, out 
there in Ararat in my thther's garden, at more 
than half-past eleven by the June moon. 

He came up the tree-house steps, 'ramping 
steadily, and he made no more apology for his 
behavior than the moon did, or the west wind, 
which, by now, had begun to stir and rise. 

"You intrude, Mr. Herwin," I said. "Since 
you do, I must go into the house." 

" Presently," he said serenely. But I looked 
up into his eyes, and I saw that he was not 
serene. And he stood between me and the tree- 
house steps. And I said : 

" Let me pass, sir I " 

" In a minute, Marna." 

" Let me pass this minute I " 

" My beautiful ! " 

"You presume, Mr. Herwin, and take a 
liberty." 

" Perhaps I do. I beg your pardon. Go into 
the house, if you will." 

He stepped back. I moved to go down the 
tree-house steps, but I tripped over something— 



42 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



it was Job; for Job had forgotten his toad, and 

glmg at the secretary, and he took my dress in 
h.s teeth to shake it the way he doesf and thlt 
tripped me, and I fell. 

steL1he'''h''7',^°"u'''^" '^°"" ^f^- '^---house 
steps, the whole length, but he caught me And 

w en he had caught me he did nof let mega 

And h" ""' ''V"-" *"= ^='''^' ''«-^^" his t^eeth 
And he went as white as the moon. " You shd 
give It to me." "^" 

^'Iwill never give it to you!" I cried. 

»r^h .!fl ''^^°"''"^""'"y°"did?" 
^ 1 should hate and abhor you." 
"You could n't hate me" 
"When you speak like that, I despise you." 
No, you don't; you love me" 
H;;li J' ^"^ ^ ^^'^ ^^ --■"& Mr. 

" I wish you to be my wife. Miss Trent " 
I must decline the honor, sir." 

"But I decline the declination.. You 
love me I " "" 

" Do you think it is proper - keeping a girl out 
here at midnight, this way?" ^ 

whoirwoTid r'' ■'' P"P"- "^^ "'" '^" ^he 
wtiole world to-morrow morning. I will wake 

your father up and tell him nowf if you say L - 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 43 

"I don't say anything —not anything, you 
understand." ^ ' 

"You have said everything, Dear," he answered 
m another tone, and he spoke so reverently and 
so solemnly that my spirit died within me, and I 
felt, suddenly and strangely, less like a girl in 
love than like a girl at prayer. And the tears 
came to me, I dont know why, from some depth 
in me that I had never known or felt in all my 
life; and they began to roll down my cheeks 
and I trembled, for I was more afraid of my own 

tears than I was of him, or of his love. 

" God forgive me I " he said. " What have I 

done ? I have made you cry ! " And he took 

my face between his hands. 
Oh, Mother, Mother! My dead Mother! 

The man took my fkce between his hands, and 

he kissed me on the lips.— Mother, Mother 

Mother! 

It is two o'clock. I cannot sleep. I am sitting 
up straight here in my night-dress. I think I 
shall never sleep again. The night grows cruelly 
bright and brighter all the time. I wish the 
moon could be put out. I feel as if my eyelids 
had been burned off, as if my eyes would never 
feel any softness or darkness again. I wonder if 
there are people in the world who would not 



44 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

feel as unhappy if they had -committed a great 
sm as I feel about that kiss? 

The music over at the Curtises' has but just 
stopped. Somebody has been serenading one of 
"le Curtis girls -a college crowd, I think. 
They sang a thing I do not know. But the 
txerman words came over quite distinctly: 

Er hat mich gekiisst. 

My cheeks blaze till they smart and ache. I 
fcel as If the whole world knew. I feel as if the 
chmbmg rose told, and the iris, the June lilies 
and even the poor gray toad that Job tormented •' 
as If every sweet, loving, gracious thing and every 
little common, unpopular thing in nature con- 
spired against me ; and as if the moon sided with 
them, r d the warm west wind drove them on 

And t moths — now I have it ! It was the 
moths. They who delight in dying, and die of 
dehght-they would be the fir^t to tell of me 
Ihey would see me led to delight and death, 
and not be sorry for me at all. Nobody would 
be sorry for me. 

Er hat mich gekttsst. 

And yet I do not wish or mean to marry this 
man — nor any man; no, not any maa That 
IS my nature. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 45 

Why has not my nature as much claim to 
recognition as his nature? I can't see that he 
has a monopoly in natures. In that Indian poem 
which he sent me were some words. They keep 
close behind my thoughts, as close as Job keeps 
to my shadow: 

Thy heart ha. entered : let thy feet go too. 
Give him the drink of amrit from thy lip,. 

But Radha was quite a dignified person. No- 
body took any liberties with her. Krishna was 
bad enough, but he did not steal. That a man 
should k>ss you when you do not mean to be 
h.s wife -it is a dreadful thing. I can't think 
of anythmg worse that could happen to a girl 
He has made me so unhappy that I never want 
to see his face again. 

I think I really shall ask Father to dismiss the 
secretary. 



I s 



11 

WJune the twenty-fifth. 
HERE shall I find a name for the thing 
which has bethllen me? It seems to me 
as ,f there were no name for it in earth or heaven. 
It I call It joy, I shrink away from the word; 
and if I call it altogether fear, I know that I do 
<t a wrong: but if I call it hope, I find that my 
t(?ar pulls my hope down, as the drowning pulls 
down his rescuer. 

Yet I cannot deny that I am happy. I would 
It I could, for I certainly am not comfortable 
Wnte .t down, Marna Trent-fling it into black 
and white, and let it stare you out of your sane 
senses. See! How do you like the looks of it? 
You have promised a man that you would be 
his wife. Tou have promised— a — man — that 
you would be his wife. 

I have been trying to recall the exact lan- 
guage : whether I did n't say that I would be 
his employer's daughter, or possibly his consid- 
erate friend, or even his dearest enemy, or almost 
46 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 47 

anything that might be mentioned, except that 
one dreadful thing. I am afraid I did s-,v 
"Wife." No; now I think of it, it was he who 
sa>d that. All I said was "Yes," and, on the 
whole, somet.me, perhaps, I would; and all I 
did was not to turn him out of the room after I 
hadsaid.t. That is n't strictly true, either. It 
was n't quite all I did. As for him, he did so 
many thmgs that I don't dare to think of them 
because, .f I do, the Wilderness Girl in me 
comes up and I feel as if I could call out my 
whole tnbe and have them kill him on the spot 
— I do mdeed. 

But the perfectly ridiculous thing about that 
.s that If I saw so much as a woodpecker nip- 
pmg at h.m, I should kill the woodpecker! And 
Jf I saw anybody really trying to do him any 
harm all the tomahawks of colonial history 
would have to hit me first. I think I should 
feel a positive ecstasy in a tomahawk that was 
meant for him. 

This seems to me a pitiable state of mind for 
a girl to be in. I don't respect it; really, I 
don t. There 's a part of me that stands off and 
looks on at myself, and keeps quite collected 
and sane,and says, "What a lunatic that girl is!" 
But the Wilderness Girl does n't mind the other 
girl a bit, and this is what mortifies me so 



48 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I don't think I will write any more to-night. 
I 'm ashamed to. I don't know what I might 
say. 1 ni afraid the Accepted Manuscript would 
reject me altogether if I should onc^ let myself 
go and offer it any such copy as comes pouring 
upon this paper, hot and fast, like the drops of 
my heart's blood. I '11 shut the book and so to 
bed. " 



yin hour later. 
I c.N'T do it. I 've got as far as my hair and 
my slippers — and my white gown (for it is such 
a warm night, and no moon, just that sultry 
darkness which smothers the breath out of you 
soul and body)— the gown with elbow-sleeves 
and the Valenciennes yoke. It is rather pretty. 
Nobody ever sees me in it but Maggie; only 
once in a while when Father rings, and I rui 
down in a hurry. Maggie thinks it is becoming- 
but Father asked me if I did n't take cold in it' 
I 've always been fond of this gown. Some- 
times I wish the sleeves were longer. 

Now I think of i I must have been out of my 
right mind. I shall have to write and tell him 
so. I wonder if it was n't a sunstroke? I was 
out at noon, in the garden, rather long to-day 
They say people do such queer things after sun- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 49 

strokes. Job had something like a sunstroke, 
I 'm convinced. It was trying to find Job that 
I got into the sun. He was up in the tree-house, 
and it was hotter than anything; and he only 
shook hands, he was so weak, and did n't kiss 
me at all. 

I DON'T see, in the least, why Mr. Herwin should 
have felt called upon to make up for Job's 
omission. 

I HAD to give him sherbet, nnd put cracked ice 
on the back of his neck — I mean Job's neck. 
Job is much better. He is snoring in his basket, 
with his four feet up in the air. I shingled him 
to-day. He has kept his winter flannels on too 
long, the poor dear thing. I 'm afraid I have 
neglected Job lately. I mean to devote myself 
to him exclusively hereafter. 

Mr. Herwin's hair does curl beautifully, and it 
IS so much softer than one would have thought. 

TWo hours later. 
It is well on toward morning. I wish I had 
been born one of those people who sleep when 
things happen. I am writing on and on, in this 
perfectly preposterous way. I am likely to 



50 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

drown myself in seaweed and shells, because I 
am afraid to wade in and dare the ocean. 

Plunge, Mama Trent ! Admit it once for all. 
You love this man so much — so mi-h — there 
is nothing you will not think, or feei, or do. or 
be. for his dear sake. You nil! even be his wife 
because he wishes it. Ar.J what is there more 
than that a girl eould do for a man's sake? 

Why do "ou have to write your soul, I wonder ? 
Other people don't. They talk it. or they keep 
It n themselves and don't express it at all. 
.S.3nctimes I suspect that is the best thing to do 
with souls — lock them up. But I have n't got 
that kmd. Mine is a jack-in-the-box, and is 
always pushing the lid and jumping up. Well, 
if you 've got to write, stop writing to yourself! 
and write to him, then. Sit down here, in your 
pretty lace gown, alone in your own room, at 
two o'clock in the morning, and tell this man 
whose wife you have promised to be how you 
feel about him now, at the very beginning of 
everything. I don't believe you could do a bet- 
ter thing. Come to think of it. he might rather 
like It. on the whole. 

"Mv DEAR Mr. Herwin: It occurs to me 
that a note from me. under the circumstances. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 51 

might be agreeable to you. But now that I am 
trymg to write it. I am not sure that I have be- 
gun it just right. I will send this as it stands, 
and try again. Faithfully yours. 

"Marna Trent." 

"My dsar Frirnd: I am not sleeping very 
well to-night.— I Ve been anxious about Job, on 
account of his sunstroke,— and so I thought I 
would write a line to you, and put it in the first 
volume of • Rufus Choate ' to-morrow. It is very 
strange, but now I feel quite willing to put notes 
m ' Rufiis Choate.' and I sha'n't be troubled if 
you send things by Maggie. 

" Your affectionate 

"Marna Trknt." 

" Dear, what have we done ? Oh, what have 
we done ? Why did you make me love you ? 
I was quite happy before. All my days rose 
and set in peaceful easts and wests — gray and 
rose and sunlight colors. Now I am caught up 
mto a stormy sky. dashed with scarlet and purple 
and fire, and swept along,— I don't know where, 
I don't know why,— carried away from myself, 
as I used to dream that I should be if I let my- 
self out of the window, and did not fall, but 
were taken up by the wind, and borne to the 



52 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

tops of the elms — never any higher, so as to be 
dangerous, but whirled along over the heads of 
people, out of everybody's reach. 

" Now we are swept along together, you and 
I, and I am out of everybody's reach but yours. 
And now that I and my dream are one, I am 
afraid of my dream ; and I am afraid of you. 
Why did you love me ? Why did you make 
me, why did you let me, love you ? For you 
did — you know you did: you made me do it. 
I did n't want to love you. Have n't I entreated 
you, by every look and word and tone these ten 
weeks past, not to make me love you? My 
heart has been a beggar at your teet all the spring 
and summer, praying to you not to let me love 
you. You know it has. You are not a stupid 
man. You knew I did n't mean to love you, 
Dana Herwin; or, if you did n't know it, then I 
take it back, and you are a stupid man, and you 
deserve to be told so. Of course you know I 
had to be decent and friendly, and I did n't keep 
out of your way altogether. How could I ? If 
I had n't been friendly with you, that would 
have been telling. Nothing gives away the 
secret of a girl's heart quicker than that — not to 
dare to be friends with a man. She might as 
well propose to him and done with it, I think. 
Of course I had to treat you prettily. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 53 

" But I did n't want to love you this way 

not this way. I did n't want to marry you. I 
never thought of such a dreadful thing! And I 
wish you to understand, sir, that it is very dis- 
agreeable to me to think of it now. I will be 
honest with you at the beginning of everything. 
If a woman is honest with herself and her love, 
she must be honest with the man she loves! 
And I tell you, sir,— for it is the truth, and I 've 
got to tell jou,— if I could unlove you I would 
do it this minute, and stand by the consequences 
I believe I '11 try. It you don't have any more 
notes from me, you will know I have succeeded. 
" Yours, M. T." 

The light fell, and the dusk rose, and they twain, the escaped 
and the pursuing, the fleeing and the seeking, were alone on 
that part of the river. For it is not a frequented part of the 
nver. And the princess hid from him. 



"I AM sorry if it does n't please you that I send 
notes without beginnings. I 've tried a good 
many different ones, but they do not suit me. 
Perhaps it is because I don't quite see ends. 
How solemn a thing is a beginning without an 
end! A love that is never to have an end 
seems to me more sacred to think of than a life 
that is to have no end; because you can live 



54 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

without loving, but you can't Fove without living 
and the moment life and love become one — 
that is a terrible moment. I wrote long ago in 
something I have that nobody sees, that joy is 
terrible. But you don't seem to think so, and 
that is what perplexes me. 

" I remember a book my mother gave me 
when I was a little girl -I keep it now with 
my Bible. It is called 'A Story Without an 
lind,' and is one of those old-time allegories 
about the human soul. A Child who was always 
spelled with a big C lived in a hut in a forest 
alone with the birds and the butterflies, the 
flowers and the animals, and a little looking- 
glass covered with cobwebs in which he tried to 
see himself And the bluebells were taller than 
the Child, and delighted me. There was a 
chapter on Faith, and one on Aspiration, and 
one on Love; and it seemed to me I understood 
the chapter stories about Faith, and even about 
Aspiration, but the one about Love I could not 
understand, and it troubled me. I seemed to 
srt down before it as the Child sat under the 
bluebells that were taller than himself— with 
his chin in his hands— this way. I 'H show 
you next time we are in the drawing-room to- 
gether. That is, if you won't disturb me • for 
I tell you at th« beginning, I can't bear to have 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 55 

my chin touched. If you ever do that, I shall 
know that you wish to quarrel with me badly. 
You are quite mistaken that I have a dimple 
there. Nobody else ever told me so. My 
dimple is in my left cheek. I consider it a kind 
of embezzlement to create dimples where they 
don't exist, and much worse to make them an 
excuse for doing things. 

" Sir, you kissed my chin yesterday, when I 
had asked you not to. This is the reason I am 
writing you without beginnings. The blue- 
bells are taller than I to-day, and you must 
leave me alone with them in my forest. I shall 
stay there till you have learned not to- 
Why do you do things I ask you not to? I 
don't love you for it— truly I don't. I suppose 
some women would. But when a man chooses 
a Wilderness Girl, he must not expect her to 
be precisely like all the other girls, and, in my 
opinion, he should treat her accordingly. No, 
I am not ready yet to wear rings for people! 
When I am, I '11 let you know. Nor I don't 
care what stone it is, as long as it is n't a dia- 
mond. I don't know how much I love you,— 
I admit that,— and I want you to understand 
that you don't know, either. Perhaps it is not 
so very much ; who knows? Perhaps a little 
more than that— I can't say. But I do know 



56 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

that I could not vulgarize my love for you 

whether it be little, or much, or less— by mak- 
ing myself prisoner to a commonplace solitaire. 

"Why need I be a prisoner at all? I 'm sure 
I can love you quite as much without rings. 
" Lovingly and loyally, 
" Yours, 

"Marna." 

" I THINK, on the whole, if I 'd got to wear 
any, I 'd like it to be a ruby ; a small ruby, 
deep at the heart, and fed by an aorta of blazing 
color that you must take a little on trust, but 
get glimpses of once in a while, if you know 
how to treat the ruby and handle it just right. 
Of course it must be a carmine ruby — not one 
of those magenta things. I am not at all pre- 
pared for any k-nd of rubies yer. Really, you 
must not bother me and hurry me so. It makes 
me a little fretful. I shall run off into my forest 

if I am hurried, and then no man can find me 

not even you, sir. 

"This evening you annoyed me. I think 
once when you come, and once when you go, is 
enough. I do, indeed." 

"Dear, you were very considerate and gentle 
with me to-day, and I love you. I do love you. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 57 

If you will like it, if it will make you happy, I 
will wear your ring. You may put it on to- 
morrow tvening. For truly I do wish to make 
you happy. Marna. 

" P.S. Be patient with me. I know I make 
you a great deal of trouble, but indeed, indeed, 
I cannot help it. It is my nature, I 'm afraid. 
But what is nature ? It seems to me a trackless 
place; a great tropical jungle where it is easy to 
get lost on toot, or a vast space of ether where 
it is possible to get lost on wings. After all, I 
am rather young, though I don't feel as if I were, 
— no motherless girl does, I think,— and I don't 
always know the difference between my feet and 
my wings. All I know is that I love you. And 
a ruby is love incarnate. Bind me to you with 
your ruby, my dear Love ! Then I cannot get 
away if I would, and perhaps — who knows? — 
perhaps I would not if I could, for I am, and 
God knows I want to be, 

" Your Marna." 

" Mother « My dear dead Mother out some- 
where in the wide summer night, I write a note 
to you. Did any girl ever write a letter to her 
dead mother before ? Oh, I don't know, but. 
Mother, I must! I am such a lonely girl I I 



58 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

have nobody to speak to — I cannot talk to the 
girls I know, and there is n't any older woman 
who has ever shown a mother-heart to me that I 
could care for, to turn to now. Mother, don't 
forget me in your grand heaven ! I never needed 
you so much when I was a little crying baby on 
your heart,— a little black-faced baby holding its 
breath till it almost died because it could n't get 
what it wanted, the way they tell me I used to 
do, — I never needed you so much when I wore 
pink socks and little crocheted sacks, as I do to- 
day. I wonder if you remember about the socks 
and the sacks, up there in your great silence ? 
Have the angels driven baby-clothes out of your 
heart? I don't believe it! Because I remem- 
ber how much you littled me, before you died 

I don't see many mothers like you in these 
grown-up days. Once, when you had been to 
Montreal with Father, and I had that typhoid 
fever and so nearly died, and you came home, 
and got to my bed without anybody's telling me, 
and I thought it was the strange nurse, but some- 
thing fell on my face, hot, fast,— drop after drop, 
splashing down,— I thought: 'Nurses don't 
cry over little girl patients,' and I looked, and 
they were my mother's tears, and it was my 
mother's face. 

" Sacred mother's tears ! Flow for me to-day. 



f 



CONrESSIONS OF A WIFE 59 

My mother's face ! Lean down to mine a little, 
out of heaven, if you can. 

" Kiss me. Mother — if they will let you. I 
have told him I would wear his ruby ring." 

So the princes., for she was royal, gainsaid him not. 



"My dear Mr. Herwin : I have worn it five 
hours. I cannot stand it another minute. It 
seems to cut into my finger, and to eat my flesh 
like fire. I feel as if I were led, a prisoner. It 
seems to me like handcuffs. I don't like it at 
all; I really don't. 

" I have taken it off, and, you sec, it fell on 
the floor. It has rolled away under the bureau. 
Job has gone to try to find it. Probably he 
thinks it is a collar. I 'm sure I should n't blame 
him if he did. It strikes me, I must say, very 
much in that same light. 

" Pray don't feel at all hurt if I return it to 
you to-morrow. You won't, will you ? Really, 
I don't wish to be rude, or to hurt your feelings! 
If I supposed it possible that you could try to 
understand — but men are bom so dull. I don't 
know why. I think God found his finest nature 
unemployed on the making of Adam, and so 
poor Eve was sacrificed to its expression. 



6o CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"I don't mean anything profane, either. 
Truly, I think only the Being who created her 
can possibly understand how a woman feels. 
"Shall I send you back the ruby? 
" Your troubled 

"Wilderness Giru 

" P.S. Job has found the ring. He made a 
ball of it, and rolled it all over the floor, before 
I could stop him. Then he took it and shook 

it, and dropped it in his bowl of water the 

wine-colored glass finger-bowl that I keep in my 
room for him. So it is quite clean, and not 
hurt a bit. 



"P.P.S. It is a wonderful ruby. I admire 
your taste in selecting it, even if I cannot wear 
your ring. I don't think I ever saw a finer. It 
has a heart as deep as life and as bhy as love ; 
and the color is something so exquisite that I 
could look at it all night." 

'Tuesday evening. 

" Dear, I am sorry. I was wrong and foolish, 
like a pouting child. And I will wear it, after 
all. When you took my ringless hand so gently, 
and looked at it so sadly, and laid it down with- 
out a word, I could have curled myself against 
your heart, and put my arms about you, and 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 61 

lifted my lips to you of my own free will. No ■ 
I know I did n't. But I punish myself by telK 
ing you what I feel like doing, if that is any 
comfort to you. I never saw you look so glori- 
ous m my life. If ever I should marry you. sir 
I shall spoil you, for I shall let you know what a 
handsome man you are. There 's something 
about your hair — and the pose of your head. 
And your eyes arc like a revolving light in a 
lighthouse, I think : they darken and blaze, and 
then I miss a revolution, and they blaze and 
darken. I sometimes wish I could see your 
mouth. The other way of getting acquainted 
with It does not seem quite judicial. Of course 
a dark mustache becomes you, but still it is a 
little like a mask or a domino, after all, is n't it? 
Once in a while it comes over me — like that! 
What kind of man is in his mouth ¥ All I know 
to-night is that he is a man dear to me; so dear 
that when I am with him I cannot let him know 
how dear he is, an^ when I am awav fiwm him 
I cannot do anything but writv him notes to try 
to tell him. ^ 

" That last of yours (hy Maggie) was a lovely 
letter. I suppose it is what people call a love-Ut- 
ter. I wish 1 could send you anything like that 
It took my breath away. I felt smothered. 
Bui I cannot write like that. No. My heart 



62 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

steps back and waits for yours. I should like 
you to write me on and on like that forever, and 
I should like to answer you always far beyond 
you, always stepping back a little— waiting for 
you, on forever, till you overtook me. 

" Perhaps, if I had my way, you never should 
overtake me. I grant you that. But it is just 
possible I might not be let to have my way; 
and I recogniz? that, too. 

" If you come into the tree-house to-morrow 

evening, after Father is done with you, there 

will be a moon— and Job — and perhaps a girl. 

And you may put the ring where it belongs. 

"For lam 

" Your penitent 

" Marna. 

" P.S. That is, if I don't change my mind 
by that time. I warn you, I 'm capable of it. 

"P.P.S. Job is too jealous for anything. 
He positively sulks when I mention you by 
name. I don't suppose you noticed how he 
growled when you kissed my chin that evening. 
I am glad you don't do it lately, for I think he 
might snap at you and hurt you. He does n't 
look formidable, I own, but that is the very kind 
that does the most harm— in men and dogs." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 63 

"Thou dearest! It was Eden in the tree- 
house. And I wear thy ruby ring. 

"Thy 

" Marna. 

" P.S. Did you ever dream of such a moon 
m the wildest and dearest dream you ever had ? 
I never did. It swam in a new heaven; and 
we — we were in a new earth; and every flower 
in the garden needed a new name. My heart 
was a Child (with a big C) sitting at the feet of 
the garden, as (you said) your love knelt down 
at mint. Every flower was taller than I — the 
haughty fleur-de-lis, and the tender white roses 
and even the modest pansies, and the little, plain 
candytuft, that looks like daily Uit and pleasant 
duty — they all seemed to tower above me, like 
the flowers of a strange country of which I did 
not know the botany. Love, I think, is flora 
without a botany. You cannot name a feeling 
and classify it, when you love. It would escape 
you, and you, 

too late. 
Under its solemn fillet see the scorn. 

I could not speak, out in the tree-house, as you 
did. My lips trembled too much. And when 
yours touched them, they did but tremble more. 



64 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I was afraid I should cry — truly I wa» — all 
the time. 

"Alas ! you are a man, and you cannot under- 
stand what I mean. But the ruby understands. 
That .s the nature of a ruby: it knows every- 
thmg about love, and something about a woman. 
" Marna, Prisoner." 

"Mv DEAR Jailir: I heard a story to-day 
Senator Gray told it at lunch, and I meant 
to tell you it this evening, but, somehow, I 
did n't. 

"A young medical student loved a girl and 
became betrothed to her. (I like that word 
betrothal,' as I told you. Father knew a great 
poet, once, who announced to his friends 'the 
betrothJ of my daughter.' Nobody ever spoke 
of that girl as 'engaged' after that!) So my 
medical student loved a girl, and -no, on con- 
sideration, be became engaged. 

"You and I, if you please, are betrothed. 
But I am sure the fine and stately word would 
blush to own that man, though he loved the girl 
after his fashion, and she was a sweet, womanly 
girl — I know about the family. And so he 
went abroad to finish his studies on the Conti- 
nent. There he dissected and vivisected, and 
went through the modem laboratories, and came 



CONFESSIONS OF A Wli ii 65 

out of them and back to his own land, and went 
to see the girl. 

"And when she asked him what was the mat- 
ter, and why he was so rl, ,ngfd, and what gave 
his eyes that new, cold U,. ,k. he said : 

" ' In all my studies I l,,.ve not ftmn.I love I 
have dissected and vivi.,cr,d, an. h<.en through 
the laboratories. I have srarch«<, and f .10 not 
hnd anything that can be call.,1 love. I h^ve 
dissected a great many brains and hearts, and I 
have vivisected others. I have come across 
sonie points in toxicology, and I have reason 
to believe I am on the track of a new merhod 
of antisepsis- but I have not discovered 
love. I am beginning to think that there 
IS no such thing. It cannot be proved. My 
scalpel has never touched it. My miciti 
scope has never seen it. I am forced to the 
conclusion that it does not exist. It cannot be 
proved.' 

•"Very well,' said the girl; 'if you cannot 
prove the existence of love, I can.' 

"'Prove .t to „u !• cried the young man. 
anxiously, for he really liked the girl. 'I shall 
be under obligations to you if you can convince 
me ot the existence of love.' 

"'You will excuse me,' said the girl 
Good-by.' So they shook hands, and he went 



66 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

back to his physiological laboratories, where he 
IS vivisecting and dissecting to this day 

"But the girl took a Sunday-school class and 
joined the Associated Charities. 

"I thought you would enjoy that story. Dear 
I thought I loved you when you said you liked' 
my looks by the moonlight, in my Mayflower 
dress. But I love you more now than I did 
then. 

"It is die most curious thing — the moment 
I am away from you I want to si ^ght down 
and write a note to you. I am g.ad you feel 
he same way. I have quite a pile of them, all 
locked up, because Job chews them so He 
seems to know they are yours, and takes the 
most violent aversion to them. One night he 
tore that one to pieces-do you remember?- 
the one I told you I did n't just exactly like 
I don t mean, of course, that it was n't quite a 
nght letter. One reason I like you so much is 
because you are such a gentleman. But. some- 
how. It made me feel as if I wanted to go and 
show It to my modier, and she is dead, and I 

Tua"''u"'''- •^'''""t that note all up. so 
I had to burn it; there was n't a legible word 
lett in It. Perhaps I am a little bit of a Puritan 
as you say. But I can't help it. I am born 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 67 

that way. I like to be loved finely — if you 
know what I mean; and perhaps I like to be 
loved quietly. I think you must know, because 
nobody can be finer than you, or more quiet, 
either, when you feel like it. Sometimes l" 
thmk there are two of you, and the other one is 
strong and masterful, and rides over things and 
people and feelings, and has its own way at any 
cost. Forgive me. Dear; perhaps I should not 
say these things. But you know there are two 
of me also, and one girl stands off and judges 
the other girl — and sometimes looks on at you 
as if you were not mine, but belonged to some 
other woman. I don't think I am as fond ot a 
masterful man, not just of his mere masterful- 
ness, as most girls are. It does n't seem to con- 
fuse me, or make me see things differently. If 
we were up in a captive balloon together, over 
the tops of the elms, in an easterly storm, and 
you said, ' Come ! We will free the balloon and 
ride on the storm,' I suppose there are girls who 
would put their arms about your neck and say, 
'Yes, if you wish it, we will ride on the storm.' 
But I should probably say: 

"•Dana, let 's keep our hrads and go down.' 
"Then, if you were good and went down, and 
we came home safely — and I should be a little 
faint, and all tired out (for I think I should). 



68 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

and you carried me into the house, and I saw 
how noble you were, and strong, and grand, I 
should— oh, my dear! I would make it up to you. 
"Once you told me I was cold — to you. I 
was sorry. But I did n't say anything. I only 
wished you had understood. I think I am writ- 
ing this note to try to make you understand. 
, " Your 

"Marna, Betrothed." 

"Bar Harbor, July the tu:enty-fifth. 
"My Dear and Distant: Now, for the first 
time in my life, I know what distance means. 
I thought I knew, of course. The curious 
thing about inexperience is that it does not rec- 
opize its master in experience, perhaps, if it 
did, it would cease to be inexperience. That re- 
minds me that you told me once that I spelled 
love with a small / instead of with a large one 
like most women, and that you should never be 
satisfied with mine until you had taught me to 
read it with a capital L, and another word with 
a capital M. I think you said it was the very 
essence of loving, in a woman, to spell her feel- 
ing properly— and that, as long as she did not, 
she was still half unwon. I wonder how you 
happen to think you know what is the essence 
of loving in a woman ? 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 69 

" At least, I have got so far as this : I don't 
know but I am beginning to spell Love with a 
capital L. For it is the dreadliil truth, Dana 
Herwin, that I miss you — I really do. I should 
not have thought that I would at all ; I mean, 
not like this — not to be uncomfortable, you 
know, and to come so near being unhappy that 
you cease to be happy. I think — do you want 
to know what I think? And I feel — but you 
are not to know what I feel. In the morning, 
when I wake, I turn and look at the sea, between 
Mrs. Gray's pretty curtains (they are white and 
sheer, with green seaweed over them), and I say: 
' All that ocean and land are between us : sixteen 
hours of it by boat, and ten by train." In the 
evening, when the rest are canoeing, or chatting 
on piazzas, I like to get by myself I make all 
sorts of excuses to be alone —which is not nat- 
ural to me, I 'd have you understand, for, though 
I am a Wilderness Girl, I am a clannish girl ; I 
like my tribe, and I don't mope. And, when I 
am alone, there is the most humiliating monotony 
in my thoughts. First it is your hair — I see the 
way it curls; I look at all the straight-haired 
men I meet, and wonder what kinds of women 
love them. Then your eyes — I see your ryes 
flashing and darkening, like that revolving light 
I spoke of, and missing a revolution, and dark- 



?S?BB?Biff?S^!5^ 



70 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

ening again before they blaze. Then I try to 
make out how your mouth looks without 2~ 
but never *ee your mouth. Do you think I 
should love you as much if you shaved « Le 
me beheve that I should love you more .' Then 
your vo,ce-but somehow your voice escapes 
me: and with it a part of you escapes me t^ 

I am a httle confused when it comes To yoT; 
vo.ce. I only seem to get it reading .rZ 
Choate' to Father. Dear Father! I know you 

and that ,s why I make so few trips. Thank 
to^h.m, I never can be called a visiting young 

"But he took a notion about my coming to 
Senator Gray's. He said I looked - 1 think it 
was ' transparent ' - some preposterous word 1 
suppose ,t comes of my feeling strange and 
changed -exhilarated all the time, vft that 
seems too low a word. Call it exalted, rather 
There 's been a good deal written by p«,ts and 
T:; 7T.f«^'"«= people that I bl^„ ^un- 
d r tand, wh.k yet I know that I do not com- 

Zl^.') .'^^^'^''^-y'heyhaveofclassify- 
ng I^ve (w,th a capital, please observe, si-) as 
.f .t were to be found at a first-class vintner's-that 
perplexes me; for me k does not intoxicate 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 71 

And if you are disappointed, I am sorry. But 
perhaps I am what Gwthe called a Nature ; if I 
am, you will accept my Nature as you do every- 
thing about me, faults and all, and not complain ? 
You are generous and noble to me, Dana I I 
never knew how many faults I had until it befell 
me that I wished to be a very superior girl for 
your sake. I never felt so sorry and ashamed 
of them as I have since I began to wish my soul 
a perfect ruby,— like this of yours I wear,— 
deep, deep down, pure fire, and flawless. I won- 
der do you like my tourmalin? You never said 
very much about it (and I could not, somehow, 
ask you). I know it is a reserved stone, not 
talking much. It seemed to me shy, like 3 be- 
trothed girl's heart; a stone that waits for some- 
thing, and has the beauty of that which is 
unexpressed, although quite understood. 

" I think I meant to say something quite dif- 
ferent a page back. I will look and see. Yes, 
it was about wines. I suspect I was a little 
afraid to say it, and so strayed (M to jewels, a 
less fluent subject. My pen has stiffened up 
on it. 

"Ah, yes, now I know; it was about the dif- 
ference between exhilaration and exaltation 

which seems to me the difference between different 
kinds of Love. And I believe I began to say: 



72 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

l?°'r„H ?7'"''" " ' communion wine.- to 
nie,~andItaste,tonmyknees. 

"For I am, Sacredly, 

"Your Marna." 

f '"^T*?""^"'' ^''^f a f"by is thy love 
for me ! My letters seem paler than tourm ," 

I thmk they love you more than they show bu 
not more than I hoped you would L w'hou 
"Your""^''"""' Try to understand 
" Wilderness Girl in Chains." 

ter'l™ "'"' ^: '■ ^ ''^^•^ J"« g°^ Father's let- 
ter agreeing to the West Sanchester plan He 
says you have closed the lease of the Dowe Cot! 
tag; for.h.m for August and September He 
a^ks me .f I would like to have him invite you 
there for two weeks to stay with us. I am w^t" 
.ng^hn. by this mail. I said I would try to^lt 

"Mr. Herwin will you be my father's guest 
and m>ne, and the ocean's, for half the monfh oi 
August, at Sanchester? "nm or 

"I hope we shall not quarrel. We never 
were under the ..,,e roof for twenty-four hou,:: 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 73 

Who knows? I think it is preposterous, the 
way I continue to miss you. 

" I am Your loving 

" Loneliness." 

"Dana dear, I 'm coming home. Really, I 
cannot stand it another day. Don't flatter your- 
self; for I am convinced that I flatter you all that 
you can bear without spoiling. 

"Mrs. Gray has been talking to me. She 
says more marriages are ruined by a woman's 
spoiling a man than there are by a man's neglect- 
ing a woman. I told her I failed to see how 
either event was at all possible. She said, ' My 
dear, you are like your mother.' 

" Half the Wilderness Girl seems to be blotted 
out of me by separation from you. I have 
missed you too much. If I surprise you by being 
too civilized, after all, where shall we end? 
Our betrothal would become a tame and com- 
monplace affair, and I know better than you do 
how much that would disappoint you. 

" You write me such love-letters as I think no 
woman ever had. I am ashamed of my poor, 
pale things beside them. But, Dear, yours hmh 
me — like your lips on mine. And perhaps it is 
because I feel so much that I can say so little. 
" Your own Marna. 



74 CONFESSIONS OF A W IF* 

-P.S Job is gladder than anvAin»r to be 

oming home. I told him w. we^e g^ and 

he has sat up . ^y trunk and bc-^-d tve"^'i„cc 

Job totally disapproves <>, Bar H^r It • o^-' 

IS nt at all accustomed to leash life. He has 
chewed up five beautiful skye ribbon lea,hes 
s.nce we came. They are a Jut all he ea .Tnd 

sl eoinr-' t " "°' «-"«'-^d to skye terriers 

iniA "• ^ '"^ "' °"« " ^«"W have to stand 
wa n't tT"^rK7 y""''- ' "^'^ ^« ''^-kful it 
Dut Job never has bt-en Tt> c ■ . 

howled till 2 AM and ;. "''' "'^^' ''" 

I h.A . ; ' ^"'1 — «ion t you ever tell!— 

kee;'l^°,^r"^f''7r-yo-bedto 
t- mm still. He curled m my neck anH 
sobbed hke a terrified bahy. But th'e next „.ght 
he only cned fll twelve, and sine, then he has 
been a ;..>,g,est. Nobody ever knew he bk 
Ae Secretary of War on the heel because he 
danced w,th me once. And out of a gaSant^' 

retary of War never told. He is a widower 
you know, and has been visiting Senator GTay! 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 75 

And Mr. Gray thought it was the cat who ear- 
ned the rat uuo the waste-paper basket in the 
hhrary, and buried it in philanthropic petitions. 

" P.P.S. The Secretary of War wished me 
to send you his congratulations. But he did 
suggest that I ask you whether you were an ad- 
vocate of vivisection, or expected to become so 
after marriage. 

"Job won't let him come within twenty feet 
of me. And by to-morrow evening I shall be — 
how near to you ¥ We will begin with twenty 
feet, sir; and then — we '11 see — 

" Your foolish, too joyous 

" Marna." 

August the second. 
I HAVE always said I would not come to San- 
chester unless I could have the Dowe Cottage 
and here we are. I have loved and envied it all 
my hfe; ,t is the one perfect situation on the 
*^st Shore. I don't care a wild rose fbr any of 
the other places about here. I wonder how 
many strangers visiting the Cape have seen this 
house from ti.e cars, and said, "Now, if I could 
have that I " 

The house is well enough, but it is n't the 
house that I care for; it is the dream of shore 



76 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

and sea that goes with it. The water is broken 
into gentleness by the shape of the cove; it does 
not rave, but sighs; the curve of the beach is as 
dehcate as a lady's lip; there is the something 
too bewitching not to be elusive about the shapes 
of the rocks and the foreground of old fishermen 
and their old dories pushing off, and the nets; it 
all seems to assume difference each time that you 
look; and there is a weir here this summer. It 
's going to be so beautiful that I perceive it will 
turn my head. I waked at sunrise to-day and 
ran to my window, and sat there for an hour 
drowned in the daybreak, drunken with beauty! 
There is rose-color in my room, and sky-color in 
the guest-room, and pearl tint in the little room 
between where I am to put Maggie, and all the 
rest of the cottage is green and white, or white 
and green, absolutely nothing else. It makes 
the house seem like one wave, tossed, I think 
into foam, except just here, up where I am, and 
the foam has the colors of sunrise and sunset — 
like that wave beyond the weir, living and dying 
■ like a rainbow as I write. 

I am so happy that I am afraid. It is as if I 
were a wave -alive and strong this minute, 
but sure to be broken and spent the next. Hap- 
piness is a tide: it carries you only a little 
way at a time; but you have covered a vast 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 77 

space before you know that you are movine 
at all. ^ 

I cannot think who wrote thov lines that I 
have always liked : 

By the law of the land and the ocean, 
I summon the tide eternal 

To flow for you aud me. . . . 

When shall the flood-tic! ;,e .» 

I wonder if misery is like this, too— a great ebb; 
the going .Hit slowlyof joy, wave by wave, till 
half the sea is empti,<l an.) all the shore is dry. 
Or IS it one shock and cataclysm of nature 
plunging over you at a crash — the tidal wave 
of experience ? It is hard for me to^ay to be- 
heve that I can ever be unhappy; or. indeed, 
that any other young, live, loving girl in the 
world can be. I am so happy diat I find I can- 
not do anything at all but sing or pray: but I 
should not tell any person that, not even Dana. 
I don't think he would understand. When I 
sing, my song is half a prayer, and if I prayed, 
my prayer would be something like a song. It 
makes a strange medley — may the Lord forgive 
me I and I think He will. 

Our Father who art in Heaven— 
" Why not to Heaven ? ' ' quo" she. 



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(ANSI ond ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 



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^g^ 1653 East Main 5tr«l 

r— Rochester, New York ueo^ USA 

'-aa (716) 482 - 0300 - Phone 

^S (716) 2Se ~ 5989 - Fox 



78 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

Dana will be here in an hour. The 6:20 
train is just leaving town. He has been delayed 
by his first law case. Job and I must dress at 
once, and go to the station to meet him. I think 
I shall wear my white India; he seems to like 
it. And then any of Job's ribbons will go with 
it. I shall take the chiffon sunshade — the one 
he called "such pretty nonsense." I have the 
most preposterous affection for that sunshade. 
There 's one thing that perplexes me, and as 
long as he will never, never see the Accepted 
Manuscript, I may as well say what it is just now 
and here. There was once a Wilderness Girl I 
knew. What has become of her? Where 
shall I turn to find her? Whither has she fled 
fi-om me ? Is she melting out on the tide, wave 
by wave? Shall I lose her altogether in the 



1 A.M. 

I don't know why I cannot sleep, for I am very 
happy. Perhaps it is because I am so happy, or 
perhaps it is being happy in so new a way that 
keeps me staring out here at the sea, with the 
gas low, and the curtains streaming straight out 
from the window in the strong southeasterly, the 
way they do nights at the seaside and never any- 
where else. They fill like sails, and the room 
seems a ship. I write a little by the dim light. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 79 

— for I don't feel like turning it up,— and then 
I stare a little, and then I write a little more. 

Maggie, in her gray room, is sleeping stoutly. 
And beyond, in the sky-blue, sea-blue guest-room 

— I wonder if he is asleep, too ? To be to- 
gether in the same house, so near each other, is a 
strange and solemn thing. 

Father said to-night: "You are as thoughtful 
of me as a son." 

Father is very fond of him. And I I love 

him so much that I begin to be afraid of him. 
I wish he were not quite so superb to look at. 
Sometimes I wish he were just a plain man, so 
that I could stand off and get an impression of 
him that would have a certain value. He daz- 
zles me. We all have our own forms of pagan- 
ism, and worship them in secret, being but half 
Christianized for their sakes. I think I have said 
before that my paganism is omnipotent beauty. 

Thou glorious! Here alone in my rose- 
colored room, nothing but this white paper being 
witness, my soul turns to thee as if thou wert a 
god upon a cloud. To thee I swerve. Some- 
thing within me cries, " Worship ! " I struggle 
to keep my feet. 

Stay you the rather at mine. When you 
kneeled to me this evening, I battled with my- 
self, that you should not know how I longed to 



8o CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

stretch down my hands and lift you up and drop 
before you. You called me all the goddess 
names. And I, an adoring girl, accepted them. 
, Now Nature avenges herself upon me, here 
alone, with this mute white paper, in the sacred 
night; and I write, for you do not know it, and 
because you shall never tnow it— I write you a 
note which you are never to see. 

"Afy Larue: I am yours utterly. 

" Mama." 

" My dear Dana : It seems quite out of the 
course of nature not to write a letter to you 
every day. I am too much in the habit of it to 
stop too suddenly. So I send this line by Mag- 
gie. I am a little tired this morning,— I did not 
sleep very well, for Job sniffed all about the room 
for mice, and upset his pink finge -bowl on some 
slippers and things of mine; h n't at home 
yet in the Dowe Cottage,— and, if you don't 
mind, I won't see you till luncheon. Father 
will need you in a thousand ways, and you might 
call on the Curtis girls, if time hangs heavily. 
I 'm sure Minnie Curtis will be glad to see you. 
She always was. And I shall get downstairs by 
degrees, perhaps by half-past twelve. 

" Yours affectionately, 

" Marna." 



CONFESSIONS Of A WIFE 81 

It is a week since he came to the Wave. (That 
is what we have agreed to call this house.) I 
used to think I knew what it was to be happy. 
Now I see that I had not studied the grammar 
of joy. Dana says : 

"You have not learned the alphabet yet. 
You play truant too often." 

" Why don't you keep me in school, then ? " 
I said. " That is your business." 

He made me no answer at all, and that is what 
makes me uncomfortable. When he speaks I 
know the worst. But when he only looks at 
me, I am afraid of him and of what is coming. 
He has a terrible way of biding his time. I 
never know when he is done with a subject. 

There is something that never was on sea or 
land about these days. I seem afloat, all the 
time, between the ocean and the sky ; and if my 
feet touch the earth, they spurn it, as if they 
had wings, and I go whirling off and up. Now 
I am a creature of the air; height is my 
element ; flight is the condition of being, and I 
flee. Then I am flung down sw'ftly, and find 
myself a creature of the sea ; the deeps are my 
home ; to be engulfed is the condition of being, 
and I drown. There are moments when I am 
tossed and driven blindly, and traverse vast 
spaces of the under-sea, visit sunken wrecks, float 



82 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

past buried treasure; and then I am hurled up 
and back, and thrown panting on the shore. 
Ihen I perceive that I am a weed upon a wave 
and whithersoever the wave wills, there am I 
borne, and because I am a weed I do not buffet 
the wave, but love it, and it driveth me, for it is 
a wave. 

But I do not show these things that I perceive 
to him. 

For the princess hid from him. 
Of flying or drowning we do not speak together 
And he calls me a truant of the heart. What 
paradise is betrothal ! I would be his promised 
wife forever. I do not think that Adam and 
JLve m Eden were married for a long time. And 
if they had never been married at all. Paradise 
would have been eternal. There can be no 
doubt of that. 

August the twelfth. 
A TERRIBLE thing has happened. Paradise is 
fost. So soon, too soon, I am exiled from my 
Eden; and each soul's Eden is its own. We 
may exchange tastes, habits, characters even, in 
this world: our Edens are untransferable; and 
an angel with a frowning smile stands guard at 
the gates of mine, already, to bar me out. That 
frowning smile is the nature of a man. Dana 
wishes me to marry him the first of October. 



"TW 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 83 

August the thirteenth. 
I SAID he had not done with the subject — 
that dry he looked at me antl did not talk; 
but I did not expect anything so formidable 
as this. 

He has had an uncle die — that is the short of 
it; he went away for two days to the funeral. 
When he came back he brought a piece of dis- 
mal news and this preposterous proposition. It 
seems that this uncle must needs go and leave 
him all the money he had. I don't fancy it is 
much — I would n't ask. But, whatever it is, 
Dana feels at liberty to marry on it. With what 
there is of Mother's settled on me we should 
have enough without depending on Father, 
it seems; and Dana thinks I ought to love him 
enough to be willing to live somehow, if not as 
I am used to living — and so on. I did not tell 
him that I would be willing to live anyhmv — 
I don't think that at all necessary. I did not 
say how little I think about money, and 
things like that : he knows. I did not say that 
I could starve and be quite happy. I said that 
I did not wish to be married. 



August the fourteenth. 
He says that does not make any difference. He 
says it has nothing to do with the subject. 



K i 



m 
m 



84 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

. , , jfi/gust the fifteenth. 

I HAVE told him that if he wants to be married 
m October he must find some other girl to marry 
him. We have had our first quarrel. He is 
tiurt and unhappy, and has gone to town. I 
cannot see why I need feel called upon to miss 
him ouite so much -not so preposterously. I 
should not mind if I missed him only to a reason- 
able extent. He has telephoned that he is not 
coming out to-night. James answered the tele- 
phone. I was out watching Job catch grass- 
hoppers, an exhilarating, not to say exalted oc- 
cupation. It was wet, too, and I came in too 
soppy and moppy for anything. There is a fog 
to-day. It wipes out the world as if it were a 
vast sponge. Happiness, I think, is only a little 
white writing on a slate: it looks as if it would 
last forever, but it is only chalk; the first touch 
expunges it. My slate is gone suddenly blank 
and black. 

Two of our old fishermen are putting out in 
their old dories from the beach. They melt into 
the fog like thoughts. There! they are gone 
out utterly. They are so old that I cannot even 
.»^onder how they feel. Age seems to me like a 
mighty mist into which people dip and vanish 
slowly, and between them and the sympathy of 
youth an unfathomable fog shuts in. I stand 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 85 

before the mist of years. What does it hold for 
or withhold from me? Dana and I seem like 
frail boats, feeling our way into a dim destiny. 
My love stretches beyond his longing, a myste- 
rious sea. Shall I ever be old — and he ? And 
will love mature as far as life does? If it did 
not, if it does not, better that it be and remain 
forever young, a mist-ideal in a blur of morning 
light 



Two hovrs later. 
Into the record of these admirable and doubtless 
noble sentiments a sound cut sharply. It was 
Job barking the one particular individual bark 
which he reserves, out of the variety of his 
nature, for Dana Herwin — a chromatic bark 
of modulated love and jealousy, of welcome 
and of distrust. I ran down. He stood in 
the green-and-white hall. No person besides 

ourselves was there. When he touched me, 

for he took me to his heart as if he never meant 
to let me go, — Job growled, and then he 
cried like a hurt child, and crawled under the 
sofa and subbed. I never knew anybody sob 
like Job. 

And Mr. Herwin did not say a word about 
marrying in October. I think he has forgotten 
all about it. I am quite happy. 



86 CONFESS. ONS OF A WIFE 

"Mv DEAR Dana: But I thought you had 
got over that. Ho. can. how n,n y!u bZ nM 
up aga.n? Yes. I know I was v'ry Jpy « 
-etung and I did n't n,uch n.ind y.L Icnol g 
>t; So I said, and so I did, as you say. But that 
d d not mean that I am ready ^o I your^S- 

It .3 sc^hard for a man to understand a woman- 
't IS so hard for you to understand me -that I 

do not thmlcl ought ever to be your wife a 1 
I am convnced we should make each other very 
unhappy As to marrying you in October, praT 
regard that point as irrevocably settled cln 
not consider the question for p moment. All 
Hjcb^ttle^^oodofmytribe is surging behind 

"Your 

"Wilderness Girl." 

"Oh, I love you -yes. I have said it I 
cannot unsay it. I can.ot unlove, and that i 

four" f ^""V' ''■ ^"^ ' ''^ -' --h'o be 
your w,fe m October. You would carry ,o 

w.lhng captive to your wedding-day." ^ 

will ^ 7ir ^uV r""" ""'■ '"""^ ' -'*=ntless 
Will I should thtnk, if you loved me as you 

Fofess to do. you would have some compZ: 



CONFESSIONS OK A WIFE 



«7 



" Havk it your own way, then, it' you must. 
Now you have got Fatlier on jour side I am 
perfectly liscouraged. I am worn out witli this 
conflict. I don't care whether I marry you this 
year or next, or in October, or in April, or now, 
or never. I am tired out. I am tireil of the 
whole subject. I wish you to understand that I 
yield out of jheer exhaustion. 

" Take me up, fling me over your shoulder, 
carry me away to your own tribe, then, if you 
insist upon it — a i start all the elements of my 
nature that are incomprehensible to you into 
war." 

" My dear Dana : Oh, I don't c.irr what vou 
give me. Why should you give cic an> ,ing 
at all ? That seems to me a foolish custom I 
will not be a bride fettered with pearls atx) dia- 
monds, and flaunting her chains hi fore gc aw-" 
men. I will have nothing from you b. -j 
wedding-ring. I suppose I can't decently r« se 
that. I think I hav,- told you before — I do I'r 
care when. If it has got to be at all, one time 
as good as another." 



" Yes, oh, yes ; I don't care. The last week 
of September is no worse than the first week of 
October, that I can see. Yot, and Father must 



88 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



arrange it between you. R.ally. I don't care to 
be bothered with these details. 

"The only thing I insist on is that you shall 
find some suitable person to stay with Father if 
you are going to turn him out ot -his own hired 
house (as Longfellow used to call it) and r nd 
him back home alone, and keep me here wi.h- 
out h.m I warn you frankly: if you find me 
vamshed any evening, you need not be surprised. 
AS It looks to me now, the station is abnormally 
convenient, and, in fact, if I did n't knov: that I 
could melt away from you any time, I do not 
think in fact I am quite sure, I could not 
possibly make up my mind to stay aione in the 
Uowe Cottage with you. 

" Who ever invented the word ' honeymoon • ? 
!>om= man, I am sure. He never tasted myrrh in 
It. There is nothing in this world I find it so 
hard to understand as the nature of a man The 
mysteries of sin, sufTering. and immortality are 
quite frank and open beside it. 

"I am sorry if you are disappointed that I do 
not write love-letters to you in these days. Pray 
what did you expect? I am dumb, and thou 
^'^'' "• Makna." 

.. . , " September the third. 

My dear Dana: Certainly we shall be glad 
to see you whenever you come out. I quite 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 8y 

think it best that yt)u should be somewhere else, 
and rather come out, than stay out, just now. 
Probably we sK,,- see enough of each otl r after 
the twentieth. Yours, 

"Marna Trent. 



" P.S. Oh, forgive me I I do not mean to be 
cruel. I do not feel cruel. It seems to me as if 
you were the cruel one of us two. It would have 
been so easy to go on as we were, betrothed and 
blessed. We could have lived so for a long, 
long time, and been quite happy. I cannot see 
-hy you were not contented. I was. Paradise 
vas paradise enow ' for me." 



September the twelfth. 
I HAVE not seen Dana for a week. I suppose it 
was rather uncivil of me, but I wrote him not to 
come. I find it impossible to entertain him in 
these days. He seems to me like company. 
Father and Job and I are happier by ourselves. 
I must admit it is celestial weather. The ocean 
blinds me and the breakers deafen me. There 
always is something about September sunshine, 
but this September sunshine has the divine na- 
ture. It is working an awful miracle. I dare 
not think of it I Yet, in truth, I think of nothing 
else. 



90 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

..T, , , " ^^Pti-'inl'cr the fourtcento. 

lo Ina in Heaven: Ina! Inal Here we 

come to the parnng of the ways between spiH 

and flesh; g,rl ghost and live wife, how can we 

^ty together, or be ever to each other what we 

ma d ■ n. ~ ^''^ ''""''^ ^^"^ ''^^" ^y brides- 
maid Dear; you would have worn, I think a 

rob,n^.egg-bIue silk mull. How dainty y^u 

would have been .• I am not to have any brid" 

ma,d,Ina No one shall take your ice. I 
don t care for any wedding; it is all to be by 

our. ves, at home; we are going over the day 
before -a very st.Il little wedding, only a few 
people; and Father stays, but Dafl and I, and 
Job, are coming back to the Wave. I„a. I am 

world of hve people nobody understands 

"Your poor ^arna." 

„r> r> " ^^Pt^mber the sixteenth. 

IJear Dana: Leave me alone. Oh, leave 

let i be " ""' '" y°"^^ *° comprehend 

tou and '""'" '" ''""'''''■ ' ^^^"d ^P«« from 
you, nd you seem to me a vast space away from 

me, like an alien king of an unseen countn. who 

has threatened me and mine. Though I^mlke 

you unhappy, I must speak the truth fo yoTfor 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 91 

Truth is the king of kings, and outranks your 
throne or mine, or that on which we are fated to 
sit crowned together. You ask me do I not love 
you as I thought I did, that I treat you as I 
choose to do, in this miracle September? 

"On my soul, I cannot answer you, for from 
my soul I do not know. I thought I loved 
you; and I was happy when you were near me 
Now I know not if I bve you; I only know 
1 tear you, and I wish the width of the spaces 
between the stars and suns were distance be- 
tween us. 

" I feel a magic circle drawn around me. If 
you cross, you cross it at your peril, for, volun- 
tary sorcerer, I stand within it. I have nothing 
for you — nothing: I belong to myself I have 
fled to the wilderness of Womanhood, where no 
man ever sets his foot. If you pursue me, I can- 
not say what I shall do. I warn you ! I warn 
you ! It is nothing to me, and less than nothing 
what other girls do the days before they are mar- 
ried to other men. I told you I was a Wilder- 
ness Girl; and now you find it out, you are 
surprised and shocked. I would have you know, 
sir, that a woman is to be obeyed when she 
makes her will known to the man who loves her 
I am not sure that I love you enough to marry 
you. And, honestly, it does not trouble me that 



92 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I give you pain. I teK you, Dana Herwin- 
oh, but I cannot tell, I cannot tell you! You 
would not understand." 

'' September the seventeenth. 
"Mother, I am not fit to be married, I am 
behavmg so badly! If you were not a ghost I 
think I should be a better girl- I should act 
I.ke other g.rls. And you would teach me how 
Mother, It is the holy truth that I packed my 
bag to-night and ran away. I took the train 
and went to town,- die late train,- and I 
meant to send him word that I would not marry 
anybody, for I could never do it. 

"And when I got to town I was frightened at 
what I had done, for I thought it would trouble 
Father, and I came back again upon the mid- 
night tram alone; and it rained, for there is a 
southeaster, and I got off at the station, crying 
in the wet. And, oh, Mother, there he stood _ 
the Man! His face was white, and his hand 
shook, and he did not speak at all. He took me 
home, and in at the side door, and called 
Magg,e, and told me to go up-stairs, and did not 
trouble me to try to kiss me; but he had such a 
look that I felt ashamed, and I thought you 
would be ashamed of me. Mother. So I confess 
to you. For I have promised that I will marry 






I 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 93 

him in two days and three nights more. And 
I am 

"Your unmothered and bewildered 

"Daughter." 

,^ " September the nineteenth. 

"p,/R Dana: I cannot possibly see you this 
evenmg. You will excuse me, I am sure. I 
have some writing to do, and. besides, I don't 
feelhke .t. Can't you go and call on Minnie 
Curtis ? I should think she might amuse you. 
" Hurriedly yours, 

"Marna Trent." 

, "October the fifth. 

To MY Husband: Oh, I admit it I I take 
the first excuse I have to write the word. You 
have never given me a chance before. I do not 
thmk we have been apart three hours — have 
wc ?- m these fifteen days. Now you are to be 
three hours in town. It seems a long time 
Twenty minutes are gone. I have been sitting 
here, m the rose-colored room, staring at the 
clock. I have been trying to decide where I 
shall put th,s note to surprise and please you. 
Dear I .ike to please you! But, indeed, I do 
not always know how to make you believe that 

7V T ? ^'^ "^"^ patient and gentle with me, 
and I — I love you ! 



94 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" I think I will pin it on your cushion with 
one of the pearl butterflies I wore to fasten my 
wedding lace. I was glad you noticed the but- 
terflies. I am glad you liked the way I looked. 
This is part of the miracle. I begin to care so 
much — too much — for what you like. But 
now that I try to tell you so, I find that words 
flit away from me like butterflies — no, no ! not 
that. Rather are my words moths, and they 
advance and retreat, and circle and waver --shout 
the light of my love for you, and dash them 
headlong, and perish in it. For my love is like 
a tall, strong candle on an altar; it burns steadily 
and sacredly before the holy of holies. I know 
that I have but begun to love you. I know 
that I shall love you more — I fear to know how 
I shall love you ! 

"For I am 

"Your Wife" 



tie Second Note. 

"Darling: Will you mind two notes from 
me ? I cannot seem to find any other way of 
enduring this separation. I will slip this one 
under your pillow, so you will find it later than 
the pin-cushion one. See! I put one of the 
roses you brought me last night within the note. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 95 

I liked the rose; it is just the color of this room. 
I am writing to tell you that I lose myself with- 
out you. I never knew three such hours in my 
life. I have stared the clock out of countenance: 
only eighty-five minutes are gone yet. I cannot 
understand myself; I am quite perplexed. Thou 
strong and tender! Come quickly and explain 
me to myself I 

"Thou dear Love ! My love waits to learn 
the way of loving from thine own ; a bud that 
shall know an eternal blossom, a story that shall 
be read without an end. I tried to tell you so 
last evening; I could not do it. 

"The sea is white and still this morning. 
The fishermen are singing at their nets. Fires 
are on all the hearths ; the sun is warm and deep. 
I thought September was the bridal month 
Now I see it is O Ser. Then I think we shall 
know It IS Novc. oer. Eden waits in every 
weather. All down the calendar, 

I see Joy smiling. 

"Dear, I cannot tell you unless I write it, and 
I feel that I must tell you, for I owe it to your 
patience and gentleness to tell you what a foolish 
petulant girl she was — that Wilderness Girl' 
I whisper you a secret. She will not trouble you 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

any more. She has floated out upon the tide 
of love, 

Beyond the utmost purple rim. 

The forest gave her. but the ocean claims her; 
she is gone forever. And I am 

" Marna, your Wife." 

tbe third Note. 

"Oh, teach me how to make you happy! 

1 have everything to learn, I know. But believe 
me that I care for nothing else — for nothing in 
this world except your happiness. I will b^ the 
most docile and the gladdest scholar that man 
ever had. 

" See, I have almost written this first separa- 
tion away. I will confess: if I had not written, 
I should have cried. Oh, you will be home in 
half an hour! 

" Don't be jealous, but I just went up and 
kissed the clock. 

" Marna, Wife." 



Ill 



TNroember the third. 
HERE is no doubt about it that happiness 
IS an occupation. When I see how long 
It is since I have added anything worth adding 
to the Accepted Manuscript, and when I try to 
define to myself what it is that gives me such a 
sense of being busy all the time, I find that it is 
scarcely more than the existence of joy. What 
I have lost is the leisure of loneliness; what I 
have gained is the avocation of love. 

They teach us that only in heaven can we ex 
pect to know hanpiness. It is not true ! I sum- 
mon mine— a nging witness in the courts ol 
life. I fling down the glove of joy, a challenge 
to such dismal doctrine. There are whole weeks 
when I live in poems, I breathe in song. There 
are entire days when I float in color, and seem 
to be set fi-ee in space, as a bird is, knowing the 
earth and loving it, but citizen of the skies and 
hommg to them. I fall asleep as if I were a 
sunset, and I wake as if I were a sunrise, so near 



98 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

am I to Nature, so much a part of her beatitude. 
Nature /.f joy _ I perceive that now. I used to 
think she was duty. How wonderful it is to live 
m harmony with her, out of sheer joyousness — 
not consc-ript, but volunteer within her mighty 
and beautiful forces! 

I am always reading new chapters in the Story 
Without an End. Every day I turn a fresh page 
in the book of Ice. I did not think that it 
would be so absorbing. Really, it has plot. 
For, what is the plot of incident beside that of 
teeling ? A ta me affair, as thoroughly displaced 
as a piece of sensational fiction by the great drama 
ot the gospels. 

Dana and I have been reading the New Testa- 
ment together on Sunday evenings. He said 
yesterday: " What a complete situation!" From 
a histrionic point of view he thinks the life of 
Christ the most tremendous and well-balanced 
plot ever conceived. He admitted that he had 
forgotten how fine it was. 

"Morally fine, at least," I said. 
"Morally fine, at most; spiritually, if you 
will, he answered. He spoke quite soberly for 
Uana. He ,s a very merry person; he laughs 
more easily and more often than I do. I am 
afraid, sometimes, he thinks me too strenuous. 
(He said so one day, but I felt so badly that he 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 99 

kissed the word savagely away.) He is not at 
all religious. Why does this make me feel as if 
I ought to become so V I have never thought 
much about the philosophy of Christianity— I 
mean as a practical matter that had anything in 
particular to do with myself— until lately. 

" You are a sumptuous little pagan," he said to 
me Saturday. Now, this did not please me, as 
he seemed to expect. It left a little dust, like 
ashes of roses, in my heart. I feel as if I had 
failed him somewhere. 

" I am afraid I am too happy to be religious," 
I said. 

"Then stay irreligious ! " he cried. The plea 
of his lips smothered that spark of saciod feeling; 
and against the argument of his arms I cannot 
reason. 

How fearful is the philosophy of a kiss! 
When I think of poor girls — young, ignorant, 
all woman and all love — I never thought of 
them before except with a kind of bewildered 
horror. 

I wonder — to anchor to my thought; sef, 
even my thought casts off its moorings as wl-U 
as my feeling; i seem to be adrift on all aides 
of my being— I wonder if it is in the nature of 
suffering to make people in so far divine as it is 
in that of joy to keep ihem altogether human. 



oo CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I begin to see that there is a conflict as olH ,. »k 
«.s of the world. Around its fix d a"d L,"ibt 
bar every soul of us revolves — sn m "'^'*'°'' 
tions to an ecstasy, so mi/lTpa^^aS't' 
sum and nature of these revolutiSi the sut 
and nature of ourselves. When I am M ^ 
sad shill I ► . ""*^" ' am old and 

eavenr Oh, I am young. I am glad I am 
beloved, and I love ' F^rrK :, l l 

for he is in it. ^^^J* « «ough for me. 

It would be impossible for me to put into words 
h. quahty of his consideration for me JMs 

thus am I goddess, for he deifies me. ' 

But while hi. .oul look, up ,« mine 
My heart lie. .t hi. feet. 

But when the t„u,ic of her bangle, p.„ed the porch- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE loi 

^'(mcmbtr the ieventh. 
Mr?. Gray talked to me a little last week. 
She said: "My dear, your mother kept your 
iather at her fret. SI.e held him there to the 
last breath. I tell you a secret, since she cannot 
The happiest marriages are those where a wife 
loves her husband less than he loves her." 

"How many such do you know?" I asked 
her, rather hotly, for my cheeks burne<l. 
She gave mc a keen look. 
"You have more knowledge of the world 
than I supposed," she answered slowly, and I 
thought she sighed. 

" Would you have a woman coquet with her 
husband?" I demanded. "Is marriage an in- 
trigue or a sacrament? You don't know my 
husband!" I cried — proudly, I suppose, for I 
was touched a little. 

" There, there ! Never mind," said Mrs. Gray, 
as if I had been a pouting child. She began to 
talk about Robert Hazelton's wedding-present. 
It is a very odd present. Nobody quite un- 
derstands it. It is just a gold candlestick made 
m the shape of a compass, with the candle set at 
one side as you see them, Dana says, on real 
compasses. Within is the needle, a black point 
upon a white enameled dial, pointing to the 
north. I cannot help liking it ; it is so like Rob. 
Dana asked me if it were meant to convey the 



I02 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

fidelity of superfluous afT.ction. an.l I c„ul.l „„» 
help laughing, it was so like Da„a yI, u 

tienM I k-p I /»••«"/ to see some pa- 

wth h fy* ''' *"" "" "«"'nt practice 

I wish he would marry Minnie Curtis 

little n,l ^: -^ '""' '''""' shriveled a 

Wiev?.t hi '"'"^ T ""'■ """^ gentlemen 
Itrttfi , «>"iethmg to do with politics 
" IS the first time, i wonM o^. u f"""c». 

It seemed to i,e all the while as if £ Tt 

his heiH. ,„j I^. ''' """ to Stand on 

part It IS a wholly unrequited attachment. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 103 

But for me. I could have cried all the evening. 
And Job would not stand on his head; he has 
forgotten how. 

He is up here with me now. just as he used 
to be, q ; by ourselves. Poor Job! He kisses 
me as it he had not seen me for six months — 
not obtrusively, but with a shy rapture of which 
no bemg but a dog is capable. He does not 
get used to sleeping in the bath-room, but Dana 
prefers to have him there. He says if we cannot 
have a home to ourselves, at least we can have 
our own rooms as he likes them, which is per- 
fectly reasonable in Dana. I find he is alw3,» 
reasonable when he has his preferences con- 
sulted. I hope Job will overcome that air of 
s-.ttled melancholy which he wears whenever he 
rep-irds my husband. It cannot be denied that 
he never " meets him with a smile." Sometimes 
I think this vexes Dana. I used to think he 
loved Job as much as I did. 

Dana is very late. It is more than half-past 
ten. I admit I am rather tired of petting Job. 
This occupation does not seem as absorbing as 
it used to be. I cannot read,— I have tried, 
but I listen so that I understand nothing I read. 
I hear his footsteps on the concrete walk, past 
the electric light in the street, whose cool, fair 
light falls into our room and across it when the 



104 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

gas is out. (Dana likes that light as much as I 
do; It was a delight to me to find that he under- 
stands the way I have always felt about it) 

As I s.t here alone I hear him and I hear him 

but they are not his footsteps at all, only the 

footsteps of my heart. I have seen a picture of 

Eurydice Listening," and her whole body was 

curved like an ear. ^ 

It is as if I had become an ear — heart and 
body; I seem to hear with my forehead and my 
hair A lifelong invalid told me once that she 
heard with her cheeks. 

It is eleven o'clock. Job barks in his dreams 
of the grasshoppers at Sanchester; he has dis- 
tinctly a grasshopper bark. I know politics stay 
out late nights, but I did not know Dana meant 
^go into politics. He told me to go to sleep. 
Men say such singular things to women 

Job is asleep on my lounging-gown ; I hate to 
move hinri. I did not have a new one, for I 'm 
fond of this; but Maggie trimmed it up for me 
very daintily with yards of fresh chantilly. Dana 
hkes me in this gown. He likes the lace, and 
he likes the color. He says it is the shade of my 
ruby. I think that »/;/rf be Dana this time 

It was a caller coming away from the Curtises'. 
Perhaps by the time I get into the gown, and get 
my hair brushed and braided, and warm my red 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 105 

slippers, and fix his candle and all his little things 
the way he likes, he will be here. 

I have put fresh wood on the fire, for it is 
quite a cold night. The blaze springs, as if it 
laughed. Crossing before the pier-glass just now, 
I was half startled at the figure I saw there — 
tall, all that lace and velvet, and all that color, 
and curved a little, like Eurydice — bent so, just 
an ear. 

I wonder if Orpheus was in politics? 

The leaping fire flares upon my ruby; deep, 
deep, without a flaw, guardian and glad above 
my wedding-ring. I think a ruby has never been 
quite understood. I see now — of all the jewels 
God created one for women. A ruby is the 
heart of a wife. 

Oh, there! After all! He is striding up the 
avenue. How he swings along ! As if he had 
the world beneath his ringing feet. 

I will not run down. I will make believe that 
I am asleep, or not pleased that he was out so 
late. And when he gets to the top of the stairs, 
and as far as the door — 



" Dear Love : Was I cross with you to-day 
about your golf-stockings? Believe, I did not 
mean to be. I have had a hard headache, and 
the sore throat, ever since we went in town to 



io6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

the Grays' in the storm, and I wore the lace 
dress because you like it; but it was pretty thin. 
And I had darned the stockings myself,— I 
would not leave them to Maggie,- and I'was 
so sure I had filled every single cavity! What 
a poor dentist I should make ! See, I am trying 
to laugh. But, really, I have cried. It is the 
first time you have ever spoken so to me. Darling 
No woman ever forgets the "rst time that the 
man she loves speaks sharply to her: of that I 
am sure. Everythi".^ else would go out of her 
consciousness first. 

"I was so afraid I should cry on the spot, and 
that would have shamed me before you and to 
myself, for I don't like people to see me cry 
And I think it was because I tried so hard not 
to cry that I 'answered back' a little. 

"Dear, I am sorry. I was wrong. Forgive 
me, my own ! Love never needs to answer back • 
It IS too great to be so small. Silence woqld be' 
the nobler way. It is, I think, the stronger 
weapon. But there need be no weapons, God 
be thanked! between yourself and 

" Marna, your Wife. 

" P.S. I have been all over them — the brown 
ones, and the green, and the gray, and the speckly 
kmds that are so hard to find the holes in- I 



f\' 



ff 



CONFESSIONS OF A ' ,£ 107 
have worked over the whole pile for a long while 
to be sure there are none of those tiny places the 
barbed.w>re fence bites between the pattern I 
hope you will not find me so careless and stupid 
again. I am not much used to mending stock- 
nigs Maggie has always done it for Father 
But I w,ll see to yours, if you wish me to; of 
course I will. One day you said so,- had you 
iorgotten.?_.Marna, I wish you would mend 
my clothes yourself I have always thought 
how nice .t would be to have my wife do such 
thmgsforme.' So I tried. Dear.I am more 
than wilhng to please you about these little 
th-n^. I care for nothing else but to please you 
My heart leans to you all the time. Waking 
and sleeping I dream, and all my dreams are 
yours. AH my being has become a student in 
the science of love; and all my art is to learn 
how skilfully to make you happy. Your frown 
IS my exile. Your smile is my Eden. Your 
arms are my heaven. Once, ah, once I was- 
^ho could believe it now? -.your Wilderness 
GirL Now, your happy captive, I kiss my chains. 
Hold then, lightly, Love, for I wear them so 
heavily! Yet lock them; I shall but love you 
more. Do you remember the day I told you to 
throw the key away? 

*'0h, but you took me from my tribe, you 



io8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

Son of Battle! You hurled me over your 
shoulder and ran. Do you know how Father 
misses me, though we are in the very one self- 
same house? You have torn me from him, 
from my own life, from myself. From a depth 
that you knew not, you drew me, and you slew 
me ; for I tell you in a love like mine is a being 
slain. To a depth that I know not, you drag 
me. Ah, be merciful — I love you ! — for love's 
sake I 

"If ever the time should come when I could 
not pour out words like these upon you, if ever 
the day should dawn when I should be sorry 
that I had written so to you, or that I had suf- 
fered you so to see the beating of my heart, for 
indeed such words are but drops of my heart's 
blood — but I scorn myself for that unworthy 
'if When thought moves without a brain, 
when blood leaps without a heart, when the 
moon forgets to swim on summer nights above 
the tree-house where my lips first drank your 
kiss, then may I be sorry that I have written as 
I write to-night to you. 

" And I am sure you will never speak again 
as you did to-day. It was the first time, as it 
will be the last. I thought if I told you, if I 
showed you how it slays a woman, if just this 
once I should put by something in myself that 






CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 109 

stands guard over my nature and says, 'Do not 
let h.m know,' I thought that perhaps it would 
be worth while. You might, I can understand, 
you might hurt me, not knowing. Knowing 
that you did, I '11 swear you never would, b^ 
cause you never could." 

Dcccmbir the third. 
Dana has gone into the law office of ]» -s 
Gray's brother, Mr. Mellenway — J. Harold 
Mellenway. He is so bu.sy that I see him only 
evenmgs, and not always then. I am trying to 
get used to it. Father says he is making a re- 
markable beginning in his profession, and that if 
he sustains his promise I shall have reason to be 
proud of him. Father repeats that he is a bril- 
liant young man. Dana does not have much 
time to devote himself to Father now. He 
seems to be whirled along. We all seem to be 
whirled along like the figures in the Wheel of 
Life drawn by some ancient Oriental people,— I 
forget who,— all ignorant that they are helpless 
and all hurled on to a blind fate. 

I have been married nearly seven weeks. If 
he came in some night and said, "Marna, do 
you know It is seven years ? " I should not feel 
surprised. It is as if I had never existed before 
I loved him, and it is as if I had lived cycles 



no CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

since I became his wife. I have traversed worlds 
tfiat astronomy never knew, and I am transmuted 
into a being whose nature I do not recognize. 

Here in my own room, where I have been 
such a happy and solitary girl, I see everywhere 
the careless, precious signs of him — his slippers 
on my hearth, his necktie tossed upon my bureau, 
the newspapers that he always flings upon the 
floor, and that I go and pick up ; a messenger 
firom heaven could not have convinced me six 
months ago that I would ever do it. 

So, upon my heart, upon my brain, he flings 
the traces of his presence, the impress of his 
nature. It is to me as if my soul were a nickel 
plate on which is etched a powerful and beauti- 
ful picture, of which I know that I know not yet 
the composition or the scope, and though I love 
the picture, I fear it, because it is unfinished. 
But he — he dips a rosebud in a rainbow, and 
paints him ^^rlands and Cupids, smiling steadily, 
so debonair he is. There are times (dear Ac- 
cepted Manuscript, you will never tell) when the 
lightness of his heart seems to me aisarranged 
from mine — only for the moment, of course, I 
mean. But yet I love him for the rainbow in 
him. And perhaps, as Dana says, there is a zone 
of twilight in my soul. A man does not like 
to be loved too solemnly; whereas I think ^ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE in 

woman builds within her heart an altar to an 
unknown god, and leaves her happiest hour to 
steal away and worship. 

December the tenth. 
I HAVE discovered a new planet: Dana has a 
real though untrained musical nature. He has 
flitted to the piano off and on, of course, and I 
have sometimes said, " What a touch ! " But he 
has never truly played for me before. Last week 
he came home with a violin. It seems he sent 
it somewhere to be mended a year ago, and for- 
got it (which is quite like him) ; and now that 
he has remembered, I am half jealous of the 
violin, he so devotes himself He plays with a 
kind of feeling that I do not know how to define, 
unless to say that it is passionate, imperious, and 
fitful. If I said the utter truth to my very soul, 
perhaps I could not call it tender music. But 
why say « I have already found that the first 
lesson a wife must learn is not to admit the utter 
truth about her husband to her own soul. If she 
mistranslates, she is unhappy ; if she overvalues 
him, she may be more so. Marriage needs 
something of the opalescent haze such as be- 
trothal breathes, and daily life goes a beggar for 
the element of romance. This vanished some- 
thing Dana's playing seems to be about to recall 
to us. Just now he has gone music-mad. From 



112 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

violin to piano, and back to violin, he sways like 
a mast in a storm. As I write he is singing; 
there are beautiful tones in his voice, and tears 
are on my cheeks as I listen. He comes to an 
unaccountable stop, and runs, dashing up the 
stairs, to see me. — 

I am staying in my room with a headache and 
a kind of foolish languor. He is so kind to me 
that I could weep fo' happiness. What wife was 
ever so cherished as I ? Listen ! He sings that 
exquisite thing which his voice seems to have 
created, and for me. In point of feet I believe it 
is Handel's. 

Where'er you w.lk. cool gales shall fan the glade; 
Trees where you sit shall crowd into a shade. 

And now he dashes into the superb "Bedouin 
Love-Song " that he often chooses : 

From the Desert I come to thee. 

On my Arab shod with fire ; 
And the winds are left behind 

In the speed of my desire. 



I love thee, I love but thee! 
With a love that shall not die! 

His voice peals through the house like a trium- 
phal procession. Even Father has opened the 
library door to listen. Job is lying perfectly 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 113 

still in the hall, with quivering ears, music- 
smitten, as delicately organized dogs sometimes 
are. The eternal bridegroom rings in my hus- 
band's singing — joyous, imperial, master of the 
present and daun Jess of the future. Oh, I love 
thee, master of my heart and of my life ! 

I cannot stand this any longer. What 's a 
headache? I think if I get into the warm red 
gown, and steal down very softly, and up behind 
him before he knows it, and just put my arms 
about his neck, with no sound at all, and lay my 
cheek to his (though the tears are on it still)— 
Oh, hark ! How sure and glad he is ! 

I love thee, I love but thee! 

Till the sun grows cold. 
And the stirs are old. 
And the leaves of the Judgment Book unfold! 



December the Huelfth. 
Dana was displeased with me about something 
(a little thing, too small to write) to-day, and 
went to his day's work without kissing me. It 
is the first time. I shut myself in here and cried 
half the morning. Job's head is quite a mop, 
for he tried to comfort me. 
Awhile ago I went down and telephoned to 



114 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

the office, for I could not, could not, bear it 
This is the veracious record of our interview : 

He : Oh ! That you. Mama? Glad to hear 
from you. What a lovely telephone voice you 
have! Well, what is it? 

I.I have felt so unhappy. Dear, all the morn- 
ing! I thought — perhaps — 
He: Unhappy? What in thunder/wf" 

I: Why, of course, Dana, you know 

He : I have no more idea what you are talk- 
ing about than you have of the English common 
law. Do be quick. Mama ! I 'm busy. 

I: Oh, have you forgotten that you went off 
without — without 

H I went off without my handkerchief, if 
that 's what you mean. 

I: Diina! 

He : Marm,! Go find it, Dear, and dry the 
tears out of your voice. I tell you I 'm busy. 
Good-by. Oh, by the way. Don't wait dinner 
for me it I 'm not home on time. I am rushed 
to death to-day. Good-by. 

I : But, Dana dear — 

He: But, Marna dear! Don't bother 
Good-by. 

I am thinking of an old French saying: Elle 
en meurt; it en rit. Once, to think of it— to think 
of it, I mean, in a way that could possibly have 



me. 



! 
i 
> 

y 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 115 

any relation to myself — would have brought 
the blood stinging to my cheeks. Now i: brings 
only the tears starting to my f-yes. 

DiYtwhr tkc sevenhvnth. 
Dana is obsessed with an idea. I find he has a 
good many ideas. Father was a little vexed 
with him to-day, and called them notions. In 
point of feet, Dana wan"- to build a house, and 
Father thinks it quite unnecessary and expensive. 
He wants Dana to wait until his legal income is 
more assured, offering us till such time our pres- 
ent home in his own house. It is large enough, 
I admit ; we have our own suite, and every com- 
fort, and no more care than if we were figures on 
a fresco. 

Father's old Ellen looks after everything ; she 
has been in the house since I was a baby, and 
rules the family like a Chinese ancestor. I do 
not think of Ellen any more than I do of the 
atmosphere. I don't think I have ever so much 
as mentioned her in the Accepted Manuscript ; 
she is a matter of course. I suppose my life has 
been more free from care than that of many girls, 
especially motherless girls, and that I shall have 
a good de ■ to learn if I keep house. But if 
Dana wishes it I should not mind the trouble ; I 
should tike to please Dana. I asked Etten 



ii6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

whether she thought I could do it so as tc ^^lease 
him. She looked at me and did not s -y any- 
thing, only she patted me on the head w= ■. i.r- 
wrinkled hand ; I could n't make out at all what 
Ellen meant. Then I asked Maggie, quite con- 
hdentially, whether she would like to work for 
me if I kept house ; for I suppose we could not 
afford more than one servant, or two at the most. 
But Maggie said : 

" Is it the lady's-maid ye 'd be wantin', Miss 
Marna ? It 's not a housemaid I am accustomed 
to call myself" 

I never felt uncomfortable before the servants 
before. Sometimes I think they don't like my 
husband as much as they do me. I never should 
have believed that it could make any difference 
to anybody whether they did or not. 

I have left the two gentlemen talking it out 
m the library. Job and I hear their voices as 
we curl up here upon my lounge to rest I 
don't know why I am so tired. Everything 
seerns to agitate or excite me, and then I am 
tired because I have been agitated. I feel things 
too much; I am surcharged, like a Leyden jar, 
and every now and then there is a crash, a sort 
of explosion of the nerve-force, and I find I am 
a little weak and spent. I live all the time in 
an electr c world, where everything is tense, and 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 117 

am liable to accidents of feeling for which I can 
never be prepared. Dana is always in a hurry, 
and a more nervous man than I thought him. 
I think he wants calm and comfort all the time. 
Sometimes I wonder if he did n't need a serener 
girl than I am — some one quite poised and 
comfortable — a girl who does n't mind things. 
It would break my heart if I thought any woman 
in the world could have made Dana happii. 
than I can. 

Father's voice is quite low and controlled, 
perfectly modulated, always; he never loses 
himself. Poor Dana must be disturbed about 
something. All those tones in his voice that I 
love least are uppermost to-night. I feel as if I 
wanted to go down and put my arms about him, 
and put my lips to his, and kiss part of his voice 
out of his nature. 

December the eighteenth. 
It is very suddenly decided — for that is Dana's 
way : to do things at once. We are to build 
a cottage of our own here on Father's place. 
Father will deed the land to me, but Dana 
builds the house. We shall have to mortgage 
it, he says. This seems to me somehow a lit- 
tle disgraceful. Dana threw back his curling 
head and laughed when I said so. I told him 
he laughed like the young god Pan, so I laughed. 



ii8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

too. Dana's spirits are contagious; that is all 
but sometimes. Once in a while I feel as f he 

qu.et he does not talk much about the cottage 

man*;;' "' v'^' '' "" P'^^^"'^ -'"-' ^f a 
aTwi" Z?"^''^" '•'""-• ''^^"''-o fault at 

"It will be a good deal of a care for you just 
now," he said, but that was all ^ ^ 

Dana's voice-his best voice-soars all over 
the house. He is singing : 

Then stay at home, my heart, and , 

The bird is safest in its nestj 
O'er all that flutter their wings and f.y 
A hawk is hovering in the skyj 

To stay at home is best. 

Now he has slipped into a discord, and stopped 
the mus.c w>th a crash. Now he will come 
runmng up-stairs, two at a time. I know wha 
hatmeans: he misses me. He will come bound 
'ng m. There w>ll be a kiss, a laugh, his arms. 
h.s love, and paradise. We shall Lei Zg 
happy evenmg by ourselves. The fire is f^W- 
the sweeping crimson curtains are drawn- there 
are jacqueminots on my dressing-table- the ex 
Pectant room is solemn. The winter 'night iJ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 119 

like the angel Joy, strong and beautiful. It is 
as I said those first few weeks beside the autumn 
sea: Eden waits in every weather. Oh, I love 
him! I love him so that it is as if I could 
perish of loving and not know that I had been 
slain. 

December the twenty-fourth. 
We are all so happy to-night that it seems a 
kind of theft from joy to take the time to say so. 
The angel of life is bearing us along on quiet 
wings. Father is quite well, better than usual, 
and Dana has done some brilliant thing at court 
which pleases the governor. The ground is to 
be broken to-morrow for our new house ; it is to 
stand just behin-l Ararat, in the garden, near the 
wall and the electric light. Dana is very merry 
and kind; no one can be so kind as Dana. For 
me, I am better, and I am happy, too. The 
doctor (old Dr. Curtis) has quite talked me out 
of the blues I was in awhile ago. And to-mor- 
row — I thought I had pages to say about to- 
morrow; but my pen is deaf and dumb. I find 
I cannot speak, even to my own heart — only to 
his. I will leave a note upon his pillow ; I hope 
he will like it. At first it was a joy to write 
them because it was clearly such a joy to him to 
read them. My brain seemed to be stimulated, 
as well as my heart, by happiness; thought i^- 



no CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

self was sharpened, and all mv frel.nc j 
pression refined. There 7 .'"'""e .^"^ ex- 

white paper to mv i;,,c j r 7 ^^ '"'* °'^"k 

our 1 ves ran r„ I '-nristmas m 

of my heart to write you a wife-note „ 
remember how you used to kiss then% I ^u 
P"t th.s you know where. ' '"^" 

" The night is strong and still Tu 
"juch wind, and a mi|hty fro Th ^'^ " "°^ 
like the shield of the erfat Ven / '"""^ '' 

to have been a Victory v„ri <T^"'"^^ ^" 
;;edthatidea.Ilir;^;I2^-^^J-y;^a^^ 

;::::u£df 'Se^^^ ^erse._3h^^^:^: 
y »ee. the pagan ,s not drowned 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 121 

out of me yet, though yor have n't called it 
' sumptuous ' for quite a time, and to-night how 
can imagination cherish any but the Christian 
images ? 

"I admit that the others ring rather hollow. 
Even the great Venus, solemn and strong, ideal 
of Unattained Love, — perhaps, who knows? of 
the Unattainable, — woman from the first heart- 
beat, but goddess to the end, even she, the glory 
of paganism — she bows with the shepherds be- 
fore the Child of Bethlehem. Can't you see just 
how she would look, the awful Venus, on her 
knees'? I can. 

" I am writing by the firelight and the electric 
street-light, crumpled upon a cricket between the 
two, the paper on my lap and. Dear, the tears 
upon my cheeks. I am thinking of the strange 
light that blossomed on the sky that night in 
Palestine. I have always thought it was deep 
pink, like a bursting rose. I am thinking of 
the village khan and the grotto stable; it flits 
before me like the plates in a sacred magic- 
lantern at some religious scene, now this slide, 
now that, returning on themselves and repeating 
the effect, and always centering upon one group. 

" Dear, I have done all my Christmasing for 
Father, for the servants, for Job, and for every- 
body, and I have not much for you ; only one 



■22 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

given you all I ™. Ho» can I „h ' 

« Of .,.if f„, yo:rr/.i "ITS"; 

made for me in Ef ^v ""^''""^ '^^- It was 
•■^ - to me as fS:: '7°"/^^^ '« •^"«-). but 
of heave" WeaHt d! "k "'' "'^ '"^ ™ -' 
because you We ,;:' ""'"• '^-^^"^^ ^^ '-e .e, 

married, that a womnn ^^°"= ^^ ^"^ 

", uidc a woman must not e-r^nt »■«„ i 

of a man; she must not exDerth '""'''' 

sta-ir4- „», expect him to und<>r. 

»«j I. husband „d s r^d"::! T" r '" 

g«n again, for I do perceive it, ^hile mo§t 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 123 

united, tn deviate, nature from nature, sex from 
sex. Already, thou dear lord of me and of mine, 
I feel with blinding tears that I stand apart from 
thee, when most cherished by thee. Already I 
see that I begin to tread a separate and a solemn 
road. 

" Dana ! Dana ! My heart reaches out to you 
with an unutterable cry. Try to interpret its 
inarticulate meaning. 

" Forgive this too solemn letter, my dear Love, 
and love me better for it if you can. If your 
love does not advance with my need of it, I shall 
perish of that pause. 

"For I can see nothing in all the world of 
visions this Christmas eve but the Mother with 
the Child upon her breast. 

" Oh, be gentle to 

"Your Wife." 



May the fifteenth. 
When I see how long it is since I have opened 
this book, I do not know whether to laugh or 
cry. As a rule I find the former works better. 
Masculine tenderness is said to respond to tears. 
I do not find it so. Rather, I should say that a 
man's devotion fades under salt water, like a 
bathing-suit, proving unserviceable in the very 
element for which it is supposed to be adapted. 



"24 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 
ashamed of the number of times a week I lock 

myself I suppose .t ,s a physical condition. 
Nobody sees but Job. He jumps into ,„y lap 
more gently than he used to. a„d\isses my' Z 
Jce. Heaven knows how he understands that 
drops on a cheek mean grief in the heart, lome 
t.mes I thmk that perception of the finer st«es of 
one we love ,s in relation to dumbness. Words 

less as ,ove means more. One of the sages was 
he who sa,d that conduct is three fourthslf |Tfe 
Our cottage is done and we move in tomor-' 
row. It ,s the night before I leave my fXr's 
home for our own. There has been too much to 
do, and I am not quite equal now to the tax upon 
my strength I was always such a well, stroT 
g'rl - poised, I think, in soul and body. Phvs.^ 
cal mala.se is a foreigner to me, and there is no 
common vocabulary between it and my.-lf N^ 
g.rl thmks of /^.>. When I expected o ^ 
most comforted I find myself most solitar^ 1 
suppose ,t .s a common, or at least a frequent 

cl7frLom^"'^"'""''"^""'=''-''-P''y«^ 
No woman deity could ever ).ave constructed 



CONrESSIONS OF A WIFE J25 

this world. I wonder is there not somewhere, 
softly whirring through space, a planet that the 
Ewigweibliche has created f There must be a 
feminine element in Godhead, or woman would 
not exist. Suppose this were given its untram- 
meled and separate expression ? I like to think 
what a world that would be, or may be yet, for 
aught we know. 

I am tired — oh, I am tireH! I do not fee! 
much enthusiasm about this new house. The 
sheer strain of building and furnishing has shaken 
the romance all out of it. A sensible, middle- 
aged woman once told me that she and her hus- 
band came to the brink of a divorce over the 
first house they built (they are rather an unusu- 
ally happy couple), and that the only way she 
prevented the catastrophe was by saying, " Have 
it all your own way; I will not express another 
wish about this house." Yet they lived in it 
comfortably for fifteen years. She had seven 
children, most of them born in it. 

Dana is happ/ about the house, quite happy; ' 
and I suppose this ought to make me so. It 
would have, once. But I see so little of my 
husband now that the proportions of feeling are 
changing. I am afraid they are changing in 
me as well as in him. I don't mean — no, no! 
I could not mean that I care less. But I enjoy 



126 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

events ? T'"^ '''"'"^= """'«'•"" -"ost 
evenmgs of the week. And he travels more 

or le^ on h.s professional business or on political 

errands. try to think that this is all righ, and 

h .MS always necessary. In .y .ouU know 

'fsnot. I am already very lonely. I am per- 

plexed and troubled. I used always to Sl^l^- 

loved. Now I feel hurt much of th,- t rn^ 

Such a state as this chills a woman to the Zn. 

My husband sometimes calls me cold; he will 

say th.s whenl am quivering with ;oundd 
Zl'7 } "" "°'^'"e; but one nerve of pas- 
.onate tenderness bruised. I do not reply^ J 
leth.msayso. I have tried to make hhniee 
how ,t really is. J have ..=»d so often tha 

htXitand^-^--"^-'"^"^^^' 

And'bv*''. k'" '■' ''^PP'" '" °"^ "^^ house. 
And by and by_,n October, when I am well 

tfvVfom '^ '^ "'" •" '^'«"^-'' »>«= -i" 
stay at home more; we shall be together as 

we used to be; and he will be so h!ppy we 

shall be so united, that I shall be glad aS' \ 

must hold this truth fast; fo, from ve^ phyj 

I'in ss"h n '"' ' ''■"'^' ' *■"•'' ^-- '-- 

w t'hin . "'■, '^^' '''"edom of love 

« w.th.n us. and "only our own souls can sever 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 127 

I AM too rebel to the primal laws. No Wilder- 
ness Girl should ever be married, I think. Oh, 
the silence and the freedom and th<- sacred solii 
tudes of maidenhood! I think of them with a pas- 
sionate hunger and thirst. I remember how Gwen- 
dolen, after one ot her scenes with Grandcourt, 
complained to herself that she could not even 
make a passionate cxclam.ition, or throw up her 
arms as she would have done in her maiden days. 
But she did not love her husband. I never 
thought to see the time when I should thank 
God that I do love mine. But now I perceive 
that if I did not the foundations of the great 
deep would b broken up. And I should — 
What should I do ? What could I do ? 

Job just pulled something from the basket 
on my sewing-table and brought it to me. wag- 
ging rather piteously. It is the little blue blan- 
ket that I am trying to embroider for my son. 
It grows slowly; I never liked to sew. 

Let me learn to be divinely patient, as women 
can, as women must. I must remember lat 
happiness has not fled from my life at all. The 
angel Joy will return with a sweet and solemn 
fHce. " And a little child shall lead them." 



Eleven o'clock. 
I HAVE spent most of the evening with Father, 
for he, too, feels, I can see, the emotion of this 



>28 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

last night before I leavo his house. I ha<l read 
h.m to sleep. I thought, before I slid up-stairs. 
Just now t!.t front door oi,ened (with some un- 
necessary noise), and I ran to the head of the 
stairs to tell Dana that Father was asleep. But 
he had gone on into the library before I could 
attract his attention. 

He stays so long that I wonder why. I be- 
lieve I will go down. ... 

I went. My red slippe.. are quite mute, and 
rny old ruby gown never whispers. I did not 
think that they would not hear me. and I came 
upon them quite suddenly and unnoticed. 

The two men were standing in the dim library, 
for Father had got into his dressing-gown and 
had come out to meet my husband; I am afraid 
he had been listening for his son-in-law to come 
n. He held Dana's hand in J.is own. Dana 
looked very handsome and debonair in his even- 
ing dress, with his nonchalant eyes, and smiling 
steadily. Father did not smile; his face worked 
As I stood silent and wondering. I saw the 
sacred tears stream down my father's face 

to he?'"'" '"'"'^ '" ''"■" ^^ '"''^- "^ ^'""^ 

rr . , May the sixteenth. 

Too tired to sit up, I write this lying flat on my 
new bed m my new room, in our new house. It 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE i .nj 

seemed a pity not to sanctify the date bv one 
warm word ; for we moved over in a cold storm 
— one of my own northeasters. All the garden 
trees are tossing like masts in a gale, every green 
sail flapping. The old apple-tree, on a level 
with our little library, turns a strange, familiar 
fece to me in the rain, like the fkce of a friend 
whom you had never seen cry before; there 
seems to be no way to wipe ofTthe tears, and 
they stream on steadily. This is the more no- 
ticeable because we really are not sad at all. 

The cottage is quite comfortable, and I should 
not have thought it would seem so attractive by 
gas-light; it is very bright, and all the colors are 
warm. There is rose in my own room. Why 
is it that color means something less to me than 
it used to do ^ Once I should have responded 
to the tinting of this room (it is really very good) 
in every nerve. Now, somehow, it does not seem 
to matter very much. I suppose that is physical, 
too. Most things are, to women. Who said, 
" There is a spiritual body " ? Paul, I suppose. 
Nevertheless, there is philosophy as sound as it 
is subtle in those five words. 

The new maids are buzzing about the new 
kitchen. It seems like a doll's house. Maggie 
has gone to Mrs. Gray. Old Ellen takes care 
of Father, and he has connected the two houses 



130 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

by telephone. Job is plainly homesick, and 
will not go to bed. Every time the apple-tree 
hits the tree-house he barks in a melancholy 
manner, and Dana cuffs him for it, for Dana can- 
not bear anything melancholy. 

There is a banshee in my house, I find My 
speaking-tube to the cook's room catches the 
w.nd and wails beyond belief. Job growls at 
the banshee. 

Dana is so happy that I wonder I do not feel 
happier. There is a new piano, and he sits 
smging. Somehow he seems to me like a new 
husband. But I am quite aware that I do not 
seem to him like a new wife. I wonder if J 
ever shall again ? He plays with his nonchalant 
touch : 

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest ; 
Home-keeping hearts are happiest. 

Yes, here it comes; I hoped he would not forget 
It. I really do not know why I did not want to 
ask him for this song. Something of the bond- 
age of maidenhood seems to remain in a vife a 
kind of impossibility,- I do not know how 'to 
express ,t,— a power not herself which makes 
for silence, the terrible law which takes from a 
woman's love even that which it hath, and forbids 
her to woo even her own husband. I do not 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 131 

know whether this is a right law or a wrong one, 
a tradition or an instinct. I do not think women 
are alike in this. Perhaps it is relative, too — so 
much freedom in her nature to so much love in 
his. The banshee is quite overborne as he sings 
joyously : 

From the Desert I come to thee. 
On my Arab shod with fire. 

May the twentieth. 
The new maid (her name is Luella) hit the new 
sofe bang! against the new library wall to-day, 
and bit two bites out of the new old-gold calci- 
mine. Dana was very angry. I did not know 
for quite a while after we were married that he 
was such a quick-tempered man. I feel very 
sorry for him ; it must be so uncomfortable to 
be quick-tempered. I am differently constituted 
myself: I grieve. 

I think he thinks it is my fault when he is 
angry. I wonder if it is? Of course I am not 
always right; and then, a woman is in such physi- 
cal discomfort most of the time. To-day I an- 
swered Dana very positively. He scolded Luella 
so that she gave notice on the spot. I never 
heard a girl give notice before, and it was a dis- 
agreeable experience. We never had any trou- 
ble with our maids in Father's house. I have 



132 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

always grown up with the feeling that families 

I tod Dana that he ought to leave the manage- 
ment of the servants to me. He said. "dJ,^- 
Then he put on his hat and went out. There is 
no mus.c to-night. Luella and the cook are 
conspinng ,n the kitchen, and Job and I a e 
tete-a-tete, exchanging confidences. 

n.x, L . May the tiventy-first. 

s^r 7;'?7'"g;''- evening. J think he is 
sorry. I had found some good old prints of 
Landseer-s dog. and cut them out and p sted 
Aem up over the breaks in the calcimine, above 

really, they have quite an effect of their own. 
me y°";'«'7^^*-^e -lever," he said, and kissed 
me twice Job was positively jealous of the 

ttIS Tr ^' ""^'^ '"■"' "P'-'' I ^^-"^ed 

t thef "n ^™^''' ^^^ '"^^'^^ '-'' fl- 

at them. Dana was immensely amused. He 

I „.Tl' u " ^^'^ " ''Wy evening, and 

Luella has consented to stay. 

The night is all a palette of pale greens and 
fair blues and grays after the storm, and th ret 
no banshee. The apple-tree is in blossom Id 
the tree-house is drifted with snow of pink ^d 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 133 

pearl. Dana asked me to come out into the 
tree-house with him. "Subpoena Job for wit- 
ness," he said. "He can testify — what you 
have the air of forgetting, my lady — that I took 
the first there. Nothing can undo that." 

"I wonder if anything can ever undo any- 
thing?" I said, laughing too. So I climbed up 
into the tree-house to please him; but I was so 
tired and physically wretched that I am afraid I 
disappointed him, and I could not stay very long. 
I think Dana really tried to reproduce something 
of the old glamour, and when he found that it 
was missing, he thought it was I who foiled to 
supply the materials of romance. No wonder. 

I read a story last week in which the author 
took upon himself to remark that the experience 
of prospective parentage was equally hard to 
husband and to wife, because, "while she bore 
her sufferings, he bore her complaints".' It is 
unnecessary to observe that this piece of fiction 
was written by a man. This paragraph is quite 
superfluous, — I believe women are superfluous 
by nature, — for Dana has been very kind to me 
tcMlay. I have just telephoned to Father that I 
am quite happy. 

" June the tenth. 

" Dana my Dear : I do not think it will be 
necessary for you to hurry home if the trip is 



>34 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

-ore/never Strt"'""^ " ^ '"^^ ''^^^ 

has leaped upon us like ^1L J *"" ^"='*''" 
never was J„ b/ t before '^"^T ^ J-g'e; , 
Bering for anything I ;!:Sculf: il T " r 
suppose a husband's presence it onf ?/ . ' 
"es that a wife must L "to ^rwilhlt Th" 
^eems to be the modern idea Zd r '' 

busyto.opeorsenti.entaliia^^/o:'"^'" 

The^r„fhirsi£?h:fr'"^^^^^^^ 

think I feel ththnVTu """ "'^'^ *»• I 

has given nl?r;;tdr- ^"' ^""^"^ 
remain. ^ ' ^®"" consented to 

thing about the S we cX ^o" A '"^ "'"^■ 
September. What do CSnt ^hTL^I 
me to ask you to teleeraoh ifZ ' ^'"''' 

idea is that we shouM^ I 'PP'°^*=- ^^c 

and stay till a;^•stvt'VcTrt[r"'^'''"^' 
-ust say I should like to g^ o" thTV' u 
less nights, in my stuffy litde roferl r ''*■ 
to see waves breakin/ I °"'* ' ""^ 

they never get ove. ^ j" r""'""'^'"'' ^"' 

salt, but I nfver fie \k "'""'" ™'" "^^ 

X never feel the spray. And. then, we 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 135 

were so happy there! I can't help feeling as if 
the old joy were shut up in that cottage, like a 
tenant who was locked in, and would fly to meet 
us, and take us in his arms, and bless us both 
for now and for ever. 

" I am your loving and your lonely 

" Wife." 



"Jvne the tenth. 
I HAVE just written to Dana about the Dowe 
Cottage. I am afraid it was not exactly a love- 
letter; somehow, I could not. If I had let him 
know how much I miss him, I do not think he 
would quite like it altogether. Why is almighty 
Nature forever laying a coal of fire upon a 
woman's lips ? 

So I wrote quite stiffly and serenely; and 
when I had finished the letter I cried, for no- 
body but Job could see. 

I just got up and went into his room, and 
touched all his little things — the brushes on his 
dressing-case, his slippers lying where he tossed 
them (for he never likes to have me move them 
to put them away), his ash-receiver, with a half- 
burnt cigar just as he left it. Then I went into the 
closet where his clothes are hanging, and put my 
cheek to them all, one after the other. His blue 
velveteen smoking-jacket hung inside the door; 



136 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

he wore that one day when he seemed to love me 
more than usual, and -I could not help it -J 
k.ssed the velveteen coat. I kissed it several times. 

T ,„ L y^"^ the fifteenth. 

I WENT out about the grounds to-day to oversee 
some workmen who were grading, but was quite 
overcome by the burning weather, and I thbk I 
had somcthmg like a faint, or touch of the sun. 
When they helped me indoors the house seemed 
to rock and reverberate with Dana's voice, and it 
was as if he were singing : 

Tree, where you .it ,h»ll crowd into a .hade. 

I could scarcely believe that he was not there. 

..», "^^^«^/ /*^ /^/7/^. (Vest Sanchester 
V . T "^t"^^^^^-"- You have been very de- 
voted and kmd to me ever since we came here 
and I want to bless you for it. I know that you 
have been working too hard and need a change 
and I am sure it is quite safe for you to be awav 
or a httle while. If you want to'try the nln' 
tarns after Bar Harbor, I would not prevent it on 

of the telegraph ,t w.ll be all right. J thank you 
for g,vmg up the Adirondack trip, for I do think 
that was too for away just now. Continue to 



! 
t 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 137 

write and telegraph as faithfully and lovingly 
as you have done. I depend on that more than 
you know. A wife is one of the foolish folk ; 
you cannot exact man's poise or wisdom of a 
woman's heart and body. I never love you so 
much as when you remember to love me and to 
comfort me in little ways. 

" How handsome you looked the morning you 
left, my beautiful I You went swinging down 
the avenue. I wanted to go to the station with 
you, and because I could not I cried a little; but 
not till you had quite gone. I watched you till 
you were out of sight. The light was splendid 
on your hair and forehead as you lifted your hat 
and kissed your hand. I thought: ' If I should 
never see him again, what a vision to keen with 
me in this world, or to take with me to another!' 
Women will have such thoughts, my darling ; 
we ivatt too much to take life lightly. Be 
patient with 

" Marna, your Wife." 

TELEORAM 

"IVeit Sancbester, August 17. 

**7'# Dana Herwin, 

"MafUvmd House, 

"Betbltbem, New Hampshire. 

" Come at once. 

"Francis Trent." 



«38 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

TELEGRAM 

"T. Dan. H,r.i„. """"' '""''"''''^ ^"^^'^ '8. 

"Crt of Conductor, Wbiu Mountain Expr,,, 

tn route for B„m. Try Portsmouth. 

But the blanket ought to have been pink. 

" Marna." 



..p. _ ''jiugt/st the eighteenth. 

Uear Father of my Daughter : They let 

me wnte, in pencil, for I insisted. Father will 

give ,t to you at the station. I convinced the 

doctor ,t would be better for me than to talk- 

be touched and k.ssed-and for you not to go 
away aga.n. All I want, all I want in this world 
«syou. I shall get well. There will nothing 
go wrong now you are here. Oh, I cannot say 
hat ,t was not hard-without you. At first I 
thought of everything-motherless young wives 
and women with drunken husbands, and the' 
poor, unwedded girls: all womanhood seemed 

thr^.l'"' '" ' P'"'"''^ procession, drifting 
through the room. And I thought, 'I am one of 

"But after that I thought of nothing -no- 



u 



II 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 139 

thing in earth or heaven but you — n.jt of the 
baby at all, only you, you. 

" Stay by me when you come, Darling! Don't 
let them persuade you that it will harm me. It 
will save me, and it is the only thing that will. 
They thought that I should die, but I could not 
die when you were so far away. That would 
have been impossible. 

" Dana, Dana, I live, and I love you. For I 
am 

"The Mother of your Child." 

August the thirtieth. 
This is the first time I have been allowed to 
write (to amuse myself), and I am limited to 
eight lines. " Being happy," I remember Haw- 
thorne said, " he had no questions to put." Being 
happy because my husband gives me every mo- 
ment that he can beg or steal from time, being 
happy because he is so happy, because he blinds 
me with tenderness, I have no letters to write. 
Instead, I record the fact that my daughter is 
two weeks old to-day, and that Job is so jealous 
of her that we cannot keep them in the same 
room. I think he is planning definite hostilities. 
Job finds her more objectionable than David 
and ^ra. 



IV 



i 



November the tenth. 
T HEARD of a man the other day whose wife 
J- went into his room to kiss him good night, 
and he said : " Mary, why do you do this ? I 
do not love you. There is no other woman in 
the case. I have not wronged you. But I no 
longer love you. If I were you, I should not 
kiss mv husband under these circumstances." 

Th is a true story. Minnie Curtis told me 
the " rnes of the people. I repeated it to Dana 
to-day, and he said, yes, she had told him that 
yarn. He finds it quite a relief, he says, when 

> Upon cre/iil Mimination of (he manuicript of which thex confeaaoni m 
compo«i, the system of diti.,g i, found to be, after the manner of women, 
quite a matter of accident. Daya of the month or week are uiuaUy ohaeryed 
with something like accuracy, but there is no reliable calendar of the yean. 

The ne« available lecord occur, apparently a year and ion» month, from 
the date of the last entry given in the« columns, and which wa. coincident 
with the birth of the young wife', child. 

A close study of the copy reveal, the (act that certain page, of the Ac- 
cepted Manuscript are mining, having been torn nther than cut away and 
piesumably destroyed. 

What letten, if any, have shared the ame &te, it i. impoaubk to 
say.— M. A. 

140 



if 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 141 

he is tired and the baby is crying, to run in to 
the Curtises'. He met Robert Hazelton there, 
the last time, consulting with Dr. Curtis. The old 
doctor is not well, and makes over a gt)od deal 
of his practice to Robert. I asked Dana if he 
thought Robert saw much of Minnie; but Dana 
says that Robert has no time to talk to girls — 
he says he does n't think he is that kind of doc- 
tor. It leaped to my lips to ask Dana why he 
was that kind of lawyer. But I did not do it. 
If I had, all the answc: I should have got would 
have been : " You don't classify quite correctly. 
I 'm going into politics," or some equally clever 
parry. Nothing would have been gained, and 
something lost — something of that indefinable 
advantage which a wife (more than a husband, I 
think) retains with self-possession. A woman 
can never affo.-d to be cross. Why is it that a 
man can ? 

The first lesson of a wife is to learn when not 
to speak ; I doubt if she ever learns why not. I 
am a dull pupil in the school of marriage. No 
Wilderness Girl takes to the higher mathematics 
with any natural grace. If it were not for my 
daughter — well, if it were not for my daughter? 
It is for my daughter — the insurmountable fact, 
the unanswerable qutstion, the key that locks 
me to my lot. If I fled back to my forest, she 



14J CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

would cry for me. And if I strapped her on my 

back and ran — I don't think the governor's 

granddaughter would make a successful pap.K..-.e. 

She is much more like her grandfather than like 

me, thank Heaven. She has his equable mouth. 

though it curls at the corners more than his. I 

think she will grow up into a comfortable young 

lady, and marry a congressman, and be happy 

ever after. There is nothing of her father about 

her yet, except his eyes; hers already have the 

msouciance, but not the insolence, the superflu- 

ous merriment refined by her sex. I have studied 

her anxiously. She bears my mother's name. 

"Marion," I said to^ay, "I am glad you are 
not a boy baby." 

She gave me an elfish glance, and the comer 
of her mouth curled. I never saw a sarcastic 
baby before. 

November the twentieth. 
I HAVE the outlines of a Greek tragedy before 
me. A girl I us.d to go to school with married 
a brilliant young fellow of her own social class, 
whom she adored with that kind of too tolerant 
tenderness for which, as a sex, we seem to 
be disdnguished. Some overiooked heredity, 
rooted two generations back, resulted in drink- 
ing, and drinking resulted in worse. He left 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 143 

her last , g for a woman such as Fanny never 
saw in „.; life. Fanny has two children, and 
that sort of ill health which heartbreak creates in 
women, a disorder not catalogued in the medical 
books. Her family lost their property when her 
father died, and to-day I had her advertising 
cards. They set forth the fact that Mrs. Fanny 
Freer, masseuse, will treat patients at their own 
homes for one dollar an hour. She will also 
repair ladies' dresses, and cut and make chil- 
dren's clothes. 

I call it Greek because she has not made any 
fusL about it, but has endured her fate with a 
terrible and splendid dumbness for which, again, 
as a sex, we are not distinguished. She is a lit- 
tle blonde thing, too, with a dimple, and a bow- 
and-arrow mouth, and always had more gloves 
than I did at school. 

I have been ailing lately, I don't know just 
why. I wonder if I could afford to send for her 
a few times? It might be at least a comfort to 
her to come here, where she will be asked to sit 
at table with the family. 

In face of a fate like this, how my half-grown 
troubles hang their heads ! I seem to see them 
in a row, standing like school-boys punished for 
playing at Indian massacre. " You foolish fel- 
lows ! " I say. " You are a shabby lot. There 



i!, 



144 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

is n't an Indian among you ! Any respectable 
tomahawk would disown you." 

I am beginning to understand that happiness 
in marriage is an art. I used to think it was a 
gitt In short, what I thought was a right proves 
to be a privilege. 

November the twenty-third. 
. . . I HOPE I have not been exacting with Dana. 
He calls me so, when he is vexed about any- 
thmg. I never was thought exacting in any 
other relation of life; but marriage mukes a new 
being of a woman: a wife is as truly born int. 
an unknown world as her child is. It seems to 
me that I have my own character to form as 
completely as my daughter's. I, Marna Trent, 
slam on my wedding-day, am a transmigrated 
soul — the "twice-born," as the Buddhist calls it. 
I am m my second existence. . . . Will there 
be any others ? 

I found something in one of Max Mullet's 
Oriental Bibles yesterday over in Father's library 
when I went to sit with him and read to him,' 
for Father is not quite well this fall, and it is 
touching to me to see how he clings to what he 
calls my "womanly tenderness." (He never 
said that I was exacting.) Here is what I read to 
Father : 

Though I go .long trembling, like . cloud driven by . 
strong wind, have mercy. Almighty, have mercy! 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 14J 

. . . Oh, I cannot deceive niyselt; or call 
things by opalescent names, any longer! My 
husband is not kind to me, he is not kind I 

Nofuember the twen/y-srccnth. 
We took our Thanksgiving dinner with Father, 
and Dana went to the Curtises' later in the even- 
ing. I had to come back and stay with the baby, 
to let the girls go out. She is asleep, and the 
house is as still as resignation. I cannot write, 
and have been trying to read. Dana says I do 
not keep up with current thought, and that a 
wife should make herself as attractive to her hus- 
band intellectually as she was before marriage. 
The first sentence I fell upon was this, from a 
French critic : 

It is well that passionate love is rare. Its principal effect is to 
detach men from all their surroundings, to isolate them, 
. . . and a civilized society composed of lovers would return 
infallibly to misery and barbarism. 

I think a woman should be quite happy in 
order to keep up with current thought. Current 
feeling is as much as I can manage. 

TELEPHONE MESSAGE 

" November the thirtieth. 
*• Main — 20. 
'■ To Mr. Dana Hirwin, from Mrs. Herwin. 

" By Ihi mmJ to the office-hy. Peitr mil ddiver as soon 
as Mr. Herwin lo'nts in. 



146 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

baby th,s noon. He calls it croup. When will 
you be out? '^ »ncnwiu 

Marna." 



TELEGRAM 
/V Mrs. Dana Herwin. "^ 

"Called suddenly to New York on business. 
D^ not return I. office. Hope child is better. 
Address Astor House. DanI" 

TELEPHONE MESSAGE 
" The effice-ioy to the maid. 

"Say, Lueila. you tell her he ain't got that 
rnessage. He took the Li.nited. anj neve 

meTndTr^\''^^'" ""^^^^"S" ^' -^ed 
me, and I showed him the door. 

"Pkter." 

telegram 

"T M "/'^Z """''' ^^"-' ^"'^^ ^^^«*«- 1. 
/» Mrj. Dam Herwin. 

"Yours received too late for midnight express. 
W,1I return Limited. Hazelton all right. He'll 
brmg her through Cheer up. Will catch the 
3- '2- If baby better, telephone station. In 
that case, take later train. o^^^.. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 147 

TELEPHONE MESSAGE 

" December the first. 
« Tc Mr. buna Herwin, 

" Care if Chief Operator, West Station. 
" Marion is out of danger. Do as you please 
about hurrying home. She is still sick, but safe. 

" Marna." 



December the first, 10 p.m. 
I KNEW he was a good, true, clever man, but I 
did not know before that Robert Hazelton could 
work a miracle. I never thought to see the day 
when I should be glad that old Dr. Curtis could 
not get to my siclf child ; but it is my belief that 
if he had — The new methods and the new 
remedies are wonder-workers in the control of an 
able and alert mind, fresh from everything and 
afraid of nothing. Robert was always a coura- 
geous fellow; but he is so quiet about it that 
one must know him pretty well to rate his intel- 
lectual and moral independence at anything like 
its value. 

Together we fought for the baby's life all 
night. What a night ! Solemn, separate from 
all nights, it stands apart in my life — the look 
of my child's face, the way her little hands 
clutched at the air ; and the strong, still figure 
beside me, grasping her from death. ... He 



U8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 
told me to go to bed, and that she could b^ 
rusted with Luella. I can't do it. Tdon^ 

nd h "" '? ' ^^'^" '^^- f-d got hote- 
tel h' "'Tl ''' ^"' '"' ''^'^■P-t eleven. He' 
tel phoned that it was very important, som th.W 
poht,ca and that if the child were ou of danger 

wished h,m to come right out ? I told him to 
ntel?; ''-'-'^ -' ''^^ '^ - - at ^U 
He is away so much that he does not seem 
necessary m these days to very much of anyth bg 
I suppose most wives have that feeling. S 
they do not all have another, which persists and 

MTwhorsr;'' '^•^'■-^ ''-^ ^-^» ^^^ ^'■- 

My whole soul is raw, as if it were flayed with 
some petty instrument or utensil, like an awT or 
^grater., something not to he dignified:;: 

He says he loves the child as much as I do 
I thought at first that we should grow nearer and 
be dearer on account of the baby. But am 
kept at home so much with her, and I can, " 

about, as I used to do. with him; and Dana 
hates sickness, and all babies are ail nt 1 
less ir„.„ »u . ailing more or 

iess^ Even the experience of parentage, which 
r thought was to unite, seems subtly fo divide 
us. Everything almost that we experience de! 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 149 

velops the s\indering, not the soldering, quality. 
One day Mrs. Gray said to me : 

" My dear, marriage is full of phases. Don't 
mistake them for finalities." 

I suppose that is my tendency — to look upon 
the stages of a thing as the end of it. When 
one is caught on a barbed-wire fence, one does 
not contemplate the beauties of the horizon. 

I am writing because I cannot sleep till he 
gets home. There would be no use in keeping 
Luella up, and I am happier to watch the baby. 
Only to hear her breathe is ecstasy. All last 
night I had a strange, scared feeling. It seemed 
monstrous that her father should not be there if 
she died. And when she lived, it seemed some- 
how abnormal that it should be Robert who 
saved her. I have never thought of him as a 
doctor, only a": one of my old friends. In fact, 
since I have bt n married, I have scarcely thought 
of him at all. 

He, on his side, seemed to have forgotten that 
we were ever friends. He was all doctor. I 
don't think he had an idea in his head except to 
save my baby's life — not because she was mine, 
but because she was a baby. His face was set 
and stern ; it was as strong as bronze. His per- 
emptory orders rang like those of some military 
man, a stranger, or some one you had only hap- 



>5o CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

pened to meet. I alwav« liir-j u- 

•f " « "■»"■ - "gain *rv"i„."'^r; 

"I wiJl meet him at the station and t^Il h- 

I did not even thank him, or think till ,ft,r 
ward how kind that was, or how Hke him If T 
had, I doubt in could have spoken ^ 

in all that terrible time I h ^y^P^'tBy 

I wanted my husband so all fk« .• 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 151 

"Dear Dr. Hazelton : I disobeyed you, for I 
cannot sleep till my husband gets home. So I 
am writing. And I know that I shall rest bet- 
ter if I try to tell you how we feel about what 
you have done for the baby. But, now that I 
try, I cannot tell you ; all my words deny me. 
Her fether will see you at once, and express to 
you our affectionate gratitude for the professional 
skill and the personal kindness which have saved 
our child. I expect him now, every minute. 

" Yours gratefully and as ever sincerely, 

" Marna Herwin." 

December the twelfth. 
I HAVE been shut in so much with the baby, 
lately, that I have read rather more than usual. 
I hoped this would please Dana, but I can't say 
that he has seemed aware of any accumulated in- 
tellectual force in me. He says I am narrowing 
to a domestic horizon. Thinking to amuse him 
to-day, I carried him this, from an old author : 

Wom«n ought every morning to put on the slippers of 
humility, the shift of decorum, the corset of charity, the 
garters of steadfastness, the pins of patience. . . . 

. . . But it is by no means proved that even then a man 
would not find his wife a little overdressed. 

He laughed, 

" That makes a good point," he s;iid. " A 



ip CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"Even if he w wrong?" I asked 

Only. «imc.„ endure a weanng woman, 
while s nee I Inve wri>t-„ ^^**^' 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 153 

you realize, my dear, how hard it is becoming 
for us to talk ? I so often displease you, God 
knows why. Or you hurt me, though I am sure 
you do not mean to. I find sometimes that if I 
have anything of any consequence to say to you, 
I must write it, or not say it at all. You call it 
second nature in me to write my heart out. I 
wonder if it is first nature, and speech only the 
second one ? 

"At all events, I found the sentence you had 
marked in that old English book yesterday. I 
think you can understand that it has troubled 
me a little. Do you mind telling me, Dana, 
what you meant by marking it ? 
" Your loving 

"Marna, Wife." 

" Thursday afternoon. 
" Dear Dana : If you have really forgotten 
what sentence it was, there is nothing to be said. 

" Marna." 



Friday evening. 
Did he forget? Had he truly forgotten? If 
so, either I am " too strenuous," as he calls me, 
or he was too frivolous. If not, then I am not 
strenuous enough, and my husband was not — 
quite — no, no, no ! Forever, no ! Not to my 



IJ4 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"-•^^r «;«„ n,y husband ? ''"*'' *"» " do I 

haiVo':arer:r"tar"'^ ^"^ ' ''^^^ -"• '^^ 
Whv t " P^'"* ^° P'""* him- 

■iia Jire at the crisis of tvohrr,) ,,., • 

*■. »<i « are noL, .ii -sm„ Jl L"^' °''" 
■- ..ing.^ on a. ,™rLl« ";-S 

children abandoned to nurses, and a walS.f " 
^-m.n« ai, the ti.e betwee'n thVhXdTn:; 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 155 

the wife ; glittering snow, beautiful, carved, like 
the mattress that Catharine of Russia presented 
as a bridal gift to some persons whose marriage 
she did not favor, and the mattress was found to 
be cut out of solid ice. . . 

. . . And yet, if a woman does not make a man 
happy, has she any right to assume that it is his 
fault? It seems to me as if the blame must be 
my own, in some perplexing way that I do not 
understand. If my mother were alive, I suppose 
she could tell me where I am wrong. To whom 
can I tum? The popular creed that mar.ied 
people should never seek advice of any third 
person seems to me a doubtful dogma. The 
two-in-one life tends, by a subtle chemistry the 
formula of which is too abstruse for me, to defi. 
nitely distinct points of view, and only the ideal 
oneness can reconcile these; if not reconciled, 
they may need a third view as much as nitrogen 
and oxyjren need an electric spark to combine 
them. . here are times when I think that Daoa 
IS wholly in the wrong, because his offense is so 
obvious. There are whole weeks when I try to 
feel myself in error, implicit if not explicit. My 
standards of right and wrong are wavering, like 
flags in the breeze; serving to show only which 
way the wind is, and sometimes so twisted 



156 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

around their pol« that they are of no sort of use 
-as flags Then, there is more or less wet 
weather, when they hang limp and soaked. 

I SAW a steam^arriage the other day take fire 
from Its own gasolene, owing to some defect in 
Ae machmery; .t burned up. yet it did not ex- 
plode; the sealed tank remained true to its duty 
I» It m.racle or science that nurried happinei 
may come so near destruction and yet retain the 
.ealed tank-fire within fire-solid and safe? 

If he is right then I nmst be radically wrong. 
God knows, .f He knows anything about mf 
how much I would rather suffer thfn not to be 
nght m th.s subtle and fatal contention which 

how Sri^" 'T '°^^- «^ ^'e^"". I would, 
how gladly, be proved to be in the wrong, if that 
wodd make him right. I do not ask to^be ti 
orth,,. ,„, ,, i^,,^^^,^^ Sometimes 
thmk nothmg else in life matters at all. 

A NATURE may crumble from sheer dishar- 
mony m Its own elements. A man may be a 
beaunful amalgam: gold on his brow, and i on 

mh.s arms; but if his feet are clay.he falls 
Women k.ss the day. and cover it with their 



li 



I 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 157 

hair and baptize It with their tears, even as she 
of the sacred story kiss«l the Holy Feet, as white 
as marble, and as strong, which u.hI the dust of 
i'alestine patiently— never any less the feet of 
a man because they left the imprint of the God. 

r RKAD to-day about a vine that is impelled by 
hunger and thirst. "During a severe drought. 
If you place a basin of water at night say Two 
««t to the left or right of a stray vine, in the 
iuommg it will be fonnd bathing in the basin!" 
It was a squash-vinr. ny th< way. 
Caniille Flan 

heroic jasmine 

a boird that k. 

teasing person 

shade, "hoping to wt ; 1 

but he did not succeed. 
If a woman were a jasmine, she would be 
heroic." If I were a squash, I should at least 

be respected for the hunger and thirst of my 

nature. ^ 

December the twenty-third 
Poor Fanny Freer came here to-day, for I have 
not been very well. I kept her to luncheon, 
and gave up everything else and sat with her as 
long as she could stay. She has not many pa- 



i"i^).i v.: 
ihirh wcr, 



that he knew " an 
right times through 
wi.y from it." Some 
i. rhe jasmine in the 
"t ;■ '.lower's energy, 



158 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

tients, and sewed for Marion 'in the afternoon. 
She carries herself with a touching dignity. I 
watched her dimple and her bow-and-arrow 
mouth, and then the lines on her forehead, as if I 
had seen a baby crucified. Neither of us men- 
tioned her husband in any way, though she spoke 
of her children freely. We talked a little about 
the perplexities of modern life, as they affect 
women. I think I expected to find her embit- 
tered, or inclined to rate marriage by her own 
pitiable experience. Nothing could be further 
from the fact. I think she makes a point of her 
sweet reasonableness — a definite struggle. And 
she thinks there is no country where there are 
more happy marriages than in America. 

Then I suggested that women are apt to reason 
too much from personal data. I did not add 
that she had developed the force of character to 
rise above this racial trait, but I wished to do so. 
Fanny is one of those rose-petals that unexpect- 
edly produce the strength of oak-leaves; not 
falling before storm and sleet, but holding the 
harder. One sees such women. 

I asked her — she has had some experience in 
her business in town, before she moved out here 
— whether she found patients infatuated with 
their doctors. 

" Very seldom," replied the masseuse, " unless 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 159 

now and then a married woman whose husband 
neglects her because she is sick." She added 
that a doctor would find it hard work to culti- 
vate illusions about his patients, and that this 
fact alone was enough to clear the atmosphere. 

I never cared for Fanny at school, but now I 
could love her if I had time. When she went 
away, I wanted to throw my arms about her and 
cry : 

" How did it happen ? How do you bear it ? 
Why are you alive ? " 

Instead, we talked of neuralgia and patterns. 
I never knew anything about patterns before. It 
seems there is a vast world where these things 
are important to women. 

I wonder if I do not overweigh my troubles. 
Dana says I do. He says I have a genius for 
being unhappy. Yet it seems to me as if I did 
not ask much to make me happy — a kind word, 
a kiss, some little thoughtful act. All a woman 
wants is to be considered, to be valued. All she 
wants is love — ^/Z she wants is the Life Eternal. 
I suppose this is an immoderate demand — some- 
thing like the demand of a moth for personal 
immortality. 

December the ttventy-ffth. 
Christmas again! I have had a happy day. 
Dana has been at home all day, and last evening 



Ill' ^'l- 

h 1 



160 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

he came in laughing, and splendid, with Marion's 

first Christmas tree across his shoulder he 

handsome enough to break a woman's heart if 
he did not love her, and perhaps (God knows) if 
he did. Mine melted before the vision of him 
as the ice was melting on the tree-house. It is a 
South Carolina Christmas, and needs only a wild 
pink azalea in the tree-house, or the scent of jas- 
mine on the wet, warm air. 

" You beauty ! " I cried. " You look like the 
Santa Claus ideal. I 've always thought it a 
mistake to make an old man of him. You are 
young, immortal fatherhood. Kiss her, Dana ! " 
I held the baby up, and he kissed her raptur- 
ously ; then he put her down and took me. No, 
it was not rapturous — no. And yet I think it 
was love. I tried not to think, not to reason 
about it. I have leamed that it is not wise for a 
woman to philosophize about love, and that it is 
dangerous for a wife to do so. 

Job began to whine when my husband kissed 
me, as he has always done from the very first ; 
he never gets used to it, and lately he has had 
something of a respite from this source of mel- 
ancholy. There is that in the dog's constancy 
which touches me, I must say. He has become 
accustomed to the baby, though he still cherishes 
a smoldering jealousy of her. But his feeling 



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Tjmrvi\ir^iiainr 



•■t 

f 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 161 



1 



about Dana is something finer than jealousy. In 
fact. Job never accepted the man for the master; 
why, then, he reasons, should I *? 

Dana and I covered the Landseer dogs to- 
night (they had grown too shabby) with a dado 
or frieze of Greek figures. I cut up an old 
book of Parthenon plates for it, and Dana helped 
me paste them on ; he did not once object — he 
was very kind. And he patted the Landseer 
dogs, and called them David and Dora, and Job 
growled and snarled at them, and Marion laughed 
like a brook at Job: she has developed her 
father's laugh. He has given her a boy doll (of 
all things) nearly as large as herself, and she is 
flirting with it like a summer girl with the 
only man in the hotel. Dana named the doll 
Dombey. 

We went to Father's after Marion was in bed, 
for he is too feeble to get over here ; and I read 
to him awhile. Dana asked me if I minded his 
running over to the Curtises' for some music 
while I was reading. I said. "Not m the least." 
I was so pleased at his asking me that I did n't 
care at all. And when we came home he sat 
down at his own piano, and tossed he curling 
head, and sang : 

Stty, st«y at home, my h«rt, aad re«t. 



l62 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



Then he wheeled on the piano-sttx,l with his 
beautiful, best look, and crushed me to his heart 
You 're a dear old girl! "he said.' 

December the thirty-fint 
A suBMiROED country! The Atlantis of the 
New England climate has evaded us, and it is 
jncredible that azaleas can swing their pink 
lamps anywhere, or t^at jasmine can breathe its 
heart out on any loving air. The tree-house is 
stiff with .ccles this morning, and the world has 
got Itself into armor, and stirs formidably and 
heavily, like a medieval lord who kisses his lady 
m the evening and leaves her in the morning for 
the wars. * 

The transformation happened in the night 
It was still warm last evening, and Dana brought 
Mmnie Curtis over to play for him here; but 
the furnace was overheated, and they went out 
on Ararat and serenaded me, instead; he played 
his violin and they both sang "Where'er you 
walk, and some other things that he used to 
smg to me. He asked me if I did not enjoy it, 
and^d he thought he was giving me a treat. 

Why ,n thunder did n't you come out with 
us? he asked when he came in, after taking 
Minnie home. ° 

"You knew Marion had one of her throats," 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE ifij 

I said. "I could n't leave her — even if I iiad 
been invited." 

" A wife should never wait to be wvA^," he 
retorted. " It looked queers that \ all. A wile 
ought to think how things liwk." 

"And a husband ■#" I ventured. "What 
about him ? " 

The moment I had said it, I would have vm- 
said it at any estimabk \x»st. I think it was 
George Eliot who suggested that halt the misery 
ot women's lives would W prevented if they 
could only teach themselves to keep back the 
things which they had resolved not to say. But 
a rcscAition is a mathematical matter, — takes 
perceptible time, — and my fate was too swift 
for me. 

" I should n't have thought," observed my 
husband, coldly, " that you had it in you, Marna, 
to be a jealous woman." 

Then, indeed, I turned upon him. 

"/.<? yealaus^ Of Minnie Curtis? ... I 
should as soon think of being jealous of 
Dombey I " 

" I would n't insult your neighbors, if I were 
you," he bkzed. " A rag doll — " 

" Dombey is n't rag; he 's wax," I interrupted. 

" Wax, then," said Dana, pettishly. He went 
into his own room and shut the door — hard. 



•64 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

This morning I scarcely dared to speak to 
^.m he was so manifestly offended, and he wem 

kiss. That a kiss should ever become a cere- 
mony _,s this most pitiable or most merciful? 

t^« rh" """ '' '" *"''' "'■■■"Visible icebergs she 

toorjrr^ ''"''''"'^ "'""' ''"'"^ '« dinner, I 
took all the temperatures I could, dipping here 
and there, and recording my po;r li«^e^he" 
mometers, as women do. Half the time I am 
sawn asunder by the conflict between love and 

women -oh, m women they must be sometimes, 
or the race would be exterminated by ^7^ 
(I thmk there is a declaration of war betw«l' 

writmg for the magazines.) 
At all events. I found a field of icebergs driv- 

.ng stra.gnt across the bows, and put the shin 
about. Marion and Job and I are s'pendinVZ 
evenmg up here by ourselves- and Dom^b^^' 
Mar.on ,s asleep m her crib, and Dombey re- 
poses bes:de her. as usual, with his head hanginl 
over the cnb-rail, and his feet on the pillow ! 
have some doubts of the effects of this habi 
upon my daughter's manners. Dombey is so big 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 165 

and so very boy; but Dana thinks it an excel- 
lent joke. Marion has begun to demand a little 
brother, and perhaps Dombcy may fill the defi- 
ciency. Dombey has become a painful subject 
to me all at once, since last night. I could bum 
him up, or snip him to pieces. I took Marion 
to-day to see a big lady doll in a shop, in hopes 
of effecting an honorable exchange; but though 
the lady doll, two feet high, and glorious in a 
wedding-dress spangled with gold-dust, hung 
upon the arm of a red bridegroom in a fireman's 
uniform, my daughter clung obstinately to Dom- 
bey. I must say I respected her loyalty, while 
I cannot say that I did not pity her for it. 
Where will it take her twenty years hence ? 

Docs Dana expect me to come down and 
storm his tenderness ? Miif wi.man make all 
the advances after maiTuigc. js shf must make 
none before? Then shall wt ;.■ \,-f be happy, 
for I cannot, cannot do it. 

Must she always be the firsi > i,i;,ti n recon- 
ciliations? Must she forever tbrsw.ar iitrsfi, 
and say, "I was wrong," though he knows, on 
the honor of her own soul, that she was ri^^ht^ 

'tbursdciy eitning. 
Voltaire said that a man could never be in the 
wrong if he made the first advance toward an 
ofiended woman. 



•66 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

NOTE SENT BY LUEIU 

"Dear Darling: Don'f let us make each 
other m-serable any longer! 1 cannot iarf 
My heart will break, to live this way. I will 
come down if you wish me to-or pe hap 

r;^rh" T" '^"""^ "P ' ^ ^'" '" -hichZr 
you wish, whatever you want, anything to make 

you happy. Dear. Only be kin/to me. W 
Only be tender and loving, as you used to 1^ 

wish, to be what you require : 

Meet, if thou require it. 

Both demands, 
Laying fleih ind spirit 

'n thy hudt. 

Was I wrong about Minnie? Did I speak 
petulantly? I did not mean to. I don't-care 
how much you play du.-ts with Minnie, indeed 
Idont. I am not one ofthe foolish folk. I scorn 
a jealous w.fe as much as you do. And that was 
why I felt so- But never mind that. Forgiv^ 
me .f I was wrong. Dana, and let us be happy 

cTw ""''"."'"^PP^- Weknow'we 
caa We are not chasing an experiment, but 
holdmg an experience. 

"Darling, shall I come down to you? Or 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 167 

would you rather — Do whatever you would 
like best, only love 

"Your 

"Wife." 



y/« !:■ jr later. 
I HAVE stopped crying, — it waked the baby,- 
and have lain crushed upon the pillows as long 
as I can bear it. He sent a note by Luella — 
the first he has ever written to me in the same 
house. He did not come up at all. I pin the 
note up<jn this page. 

"De.4R Marna: I don't feel very happy to- 
night, and I doubt if we can amuse each other 
successfully. Your note is all right, and I ac- 
cept your apology, of course, and we won't say 
any more about it. But I think I '11 go to town 
for the evening, and come out on the last elec- 
tric. If I don't get out, don't worry. I should 
be at the club. Go to bed and to sleep. 

" AfFately, Dana." 

A GREAT mood has taken the weather since sun- 
set. The ice has suddenly yielded again (like a 
woman), and a storm Is coming up ; it will be a 
fight between sleet and tears all night. The wind 
raves about the tree-house, and the banshee in my 



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i68 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

room begins to moan slowly and subtly, as if she 
were trying her voice with a view to a mighty out- 
cry by and by. The soul of the storm is in me, 
as it was in the beginning and ever shall be. 
Worn and worried as I am, half disillusioned of 
myself, yet would I escape myself for the storm's 
sake, and because I feel in every fiber of my be- 
ing as if it would shelter me. I would fling the 
window up, and let myself go, and ride upon the 
wings of the east wind, for it understands me, 
and I love it, and I would trust it, though it 
took me God knows where. And I would be 
borne into some wide caverns of the night, 
where love is always tender (being love), and 
tenderness, because it is gentle, is always true ; 
and where a woman, lest she perish, is cherished 
by the mystery that won her. 

. . . And what, pray, would become of my 
daughter? And Dombey? 



January the twentieth. 
Some people came to dinner at Father's yester- 
day, with wives ; and he asked me to come over 
and help him out. Dana was away, so I went 
alone. After dinner the ladies discussed various 
social phenomena of the day ; they did this with 
delicacy and earnestness; they spoke of noble 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 169 

friendships as distinct from ignoble follies, and 
one of them suggested that salvation from the 
last might lie partly in the existence of the first. 
The other hesitated. 

"Friendship needs nourishment as well as 
love," she said, "and one goes hungry in a 
week." 

"I should call it — about — five days," re- 
plied the other, slowly. Then they both laughed, 
and changed the subject — to the religious views 
of the new governor. 

I could not join in the conversation intelli- 
gently, and I did not find it amusing. I have 
never felt the need of friendship. My husband 
has always been my friend. Now — is he so 
much as that? He seems to be eluding my 
real life by a strange and fatal process. I do not 
know how to account for it, or how to define it. 
It is as if I stood on the edge of a precipice, and 
saw him disappearing from my sight, a hundred 
feet below, drawn down by a quicksand of the 
true nature of which he is, or chooses to appear, 
ignorant. The descent is subtle and slow; it is 
not even dignified by the anguish of conscious 
death ; debonair, and smiling steadily, he sinks 
by inches. I can even hear him sing, as he suc- 
cumbs without a struggle : 



170 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I love thee, I love but thee! 

Till the sun grows cold. 
And the stars are old — 

If I sprang, and dashed myself down to reach 
him — what then? He would probably stop 
singing (he has stopped, this minute, abruptly 
and unhappily) and observe without a smile : 
" A wife should not annoy her husband." 
It is possible that he might select the word 
"pursue"; he is capable of it; and that would 
outrage me so that I should quite regret my 
amiable impulse. If we could sink together, 
there would be some comfort in it. I am sure I 
should not mind a quicksand in the least. I 
would rather suffer with him than be happy with- 
out him. But he — he would be happy at any 
cost. I do not think it is at all clear to him 
whether default of happiness is to be attributed 
to the institution of marriage or is (more simply) 
my fault. 

Friday. 
Dana has lost his engagement-ring ; he says the 
tourmalins were growing shabby, anyway, and 
one of them was broken. 

" Sunday evening. 
" My dear Dana : After what has happened 
to-day, I cannot — no, I cannot see you again 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 171 

to-night. Luella will bring up Marion's supper, 
and I do not want any. I am sorry to leave you 
alone on Sunday evening. 

" No, I shall not say anything to Fadier. I 
must bear it as best I can. 

"Your Wife." 

" Midnight. 
"Oh, ask me to forgive you! Ask me, 
Dana I For love's sake and your own sake — 
not for mine. All my being stretches out its 
arms to you. I would forget — would love you, 
trust you, and begin again, if you will try to be 
more patient with rne, if you will remember to 
be kind to 

" Your 

"Miserable Marna." 



March the thirteenth. 
Dana has the grippe, the real thing; he has 
been sick for ten days, and persistently refuses to 
have a doctor, so of course it has gone hard with 
him, poor fellow. I have taken care of him as 
best I could. I have not had my clothes off for 
three nights, for he needs a good many things, 
and one takes cold so easily, getting in and out 
of a warm bed. I brush his hair a good deal, to 
make him sleepy, and I read to him hours at a 



172 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

time. A man is so unused to suffering that a 
woman, if she loves him, cannot help being pa- 
tient with him ; that is a matter of course. If 
she can help it, if she resents the natural irrita- 
bility of his race too much, I am almost prepared 
to sa^ "at she does not love him. 

Sometimes, when I am very tired, when I can 
scarcely keep on my feet, and he does seem 
almost unreasonable, I say to myself: 

"Suppose you had never had the right to 
take care of him ? Suppose he were sick in 
some remote place, and you could not get to 
him ? " 

An hour ago he fell heavily asleep, for he 
insisted on taking a dose of laudanum (I could 
not help it ; he will, now and then, when he has 
pain to bear), and I was on the edge of the bed 
beside him, for I had been trying to magnetize 
the pain in his head with passes of my hands. 
I could, for the first year after we were married, 
quite often, but not lately. I had hoped to fore- 
stall the laudanum in that way to-night; but he 
would not give me the chance ; he would not 
wait. So I was sitting cramped and crooked 
(that is why I am writing, to try to drive the 
ache out of my body by a little exercise of my 
brain), and his handsome head lay upon my arm 
and shoulder, and his curling hair stirred with my 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 173 

breath. He looked more than ill — he looked 
lonely and wrttched ; and for the first time I saw 
lines across his forehead, the real carving of life 
cut clearly. 

" He, too, has unhappiness," I thought. " It 
is not I alone. In marriage one cannot do any- 
thing alone — not even suffer." 

" You poor, poor boy ! " I thought. And I 
laid my cheek upon his, and then I kissed him 
softly. He did not wake, and I kissed him a 
good many times — as I used to do. He did 
not know it.' 

" July the sixth. 

" Oh, Dana, can't we begin again ? Is there 
no way of blazing our path back through the 
forest of married life ? I tell you, from my soul, 
if there- is not, we are lost. I do not know how 
it is with you — I do not know how anything is 
with you in these times on which we have fallen; 
sometimes I think I understand almost any other 
friend I have better than I do my husband. But, 
for me, I perish. All my nature is astray, a 
homeless, hapless thing. 

"Do not think that I blame you, Dear, or 
throw our mutual misery too solidly upon your 

1 A three months* silence precedes the date of the next entry, but no pige* 
have been mutilated or removed from the manuscript. On the contrary, there 
iua, it seems, been no effort wlutever to add to the record in any way. — M. A. 



174 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

shoulders. I know that I was very young, that 
I gain the tact of experience more slowly than 
most wives, that I crave a good deal of tender- 
ness — perhaps I am ' exacting,' as you say. I 
know that I do not learn to be alone readily, and 
that I grieve over little things. I am afraid my 
heart is a ganglion, not a muscle, for it quivers 
and winces at everything. Indeed, I try to be 
different, to be patient, not to expect too much. 
Oh, believe that I do try to be the kind of 
woman you prefer. 

" It seems to me that if we could go back and 
try all over again, we might be happy yet. 
Love does not die. Love is the life everlasting. 
It suffers maladies and syncopes, and it may be 
hard bested and have to fight for its life — but it 
is alive, Dana, and it must be cherished like any 
other living thing. We have laws and penalties 
for the slayers of men. What court sits in judg- 
ment on the murderers of love? Somewhere in 
the spaces and silences there must be such an 
inviolate bar. Shall you and I go there, hand- 
cuffed together, waiting judgment ? Oh, my 
darling, what can we plead V Mighty joy was in 
our power, :ir,d we slew it, between us. We 
were the happiest lovers, ours was the maddest, 
gladdest bridal, we had re -erence and ecstasy, 
and our real went so far to outrun our ideal that 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 175 

we left our ideal behind us — and now the feet 
of our real move heavily, and the race is spent. 
We covered the face 01 delight with our mar- 
riage pillows, and smothered it till it breathed no 
more. So we buried it, for it stared upon us. 
We two, man and woman, elected to a great 
fete, slayers of a supreme love, recreant to a 
mighty trust — who will take our brief? 

" Marna, a Wife." 

" Sunday evening. 
"My dear Husband: I have reached the 
point where I cannot live and go on as we are. 
" Your loving and unhappy 

" Marna." 

" Monday. 
" Dear Dana : I think if I could die, I should 
not hesitate long. Marna." 



" July the tenth. 
"Dana my Darling: What happened this 
morning distresses me so that I cannot wait till 
to-morrow, and you said you should no* come 
back to-night. What can I do for you to make 
you happier, more calm ? You have not been 
yourself for months, I think. Are you ill ? 



1/0 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFi? 

Does something ail you that you keep ttu. . .i.e« 
I am sorry if I called you cross when you were 
suffering. I ought nrt to mind things so much, 
I know. I think this terrible weather is too 
much for you. I feel it a little myself If I 
were you, I would go directly to the sea some- 
where, and I send this in to the office to propose 
it with all my heart. I will not mourn, and I 
will try not to miss you. 

" As you say, we cannot afford to move the 
w^ole family; and as you see, I cannot leave 
Father this summer, he is so ieeblc. He spoke 
of the Dowe Cottage in th^ spring,, but lately he 
has said nothing about it; he acts a little 
strangely about his affairs. Has it ever occurred 
to you that he has lost anything — any property, 
I mean ? Once 1. : would have told you : but 
late.'y you have been so busy, and you see so 
little of him. And he never talks business to 
me. 

" As long as Marion keeps wsll, I can stand 
it. Dear, I don't mind it much. I can take her 
over to Father's, where the rooms are large 
enough to shut up; and we shall get along 
nicely. I think you had better go to Bar Har- 
bor or to Nova Scotia at once, if you feel like it. 
" Your loyal and loving 
" Marna." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 177 



1EUORAM 

<• Te Dtmt llrrwin, 

'• Digij, iVwo Sinit. 
" Yours received. I did not mean that at all. 
On, try to understand I Marna." 

" July the thirtieth. 

"My dear Dana: I telegraphed because I 
could not bear it that you should mistake me so. 
I am sure by this time that you will have re-read 
my letter and my meaning. Must it come to 
this, that you and I need a new vocabulary to 
interpret each other — in small, common matters 
like this? The 'little language' of love we 
have lost the art of, like electives one learns at 
school or coUfge, and then forgets. But the 
Queen's English, Dana! Do I use it so stu- 
pidly? Am I so crass with it that you cannot 
take me right? 

"Try to understand me, Dana! A loving 
wife is not abstruse. I don't feel in cipher. If 
I express myself so, it is because I am so afraid 
of offending you that I am not natural, and so I 
am ot simple. I do not feel at home with my 
own husband. I try too hard to please you. 
Dear! I need so to be comprehended that I 
cease to be comprehensible. 



178 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Oh, try, Dana, try to understand 

" Your wholly longing, always loving 

» Wife." 



• August the seventeenth. 
The date when a woman accepts the fact that 
the man she loves cannot or will not understand 
her, and that she must abandon the attempt to 
make him do so, is one of the birthdays of ex- 
perience. These are as definite as the other sort 
of birthday — as my daughter's, for instonce, 
which occurs to-day. 

I don't know whether her father has forgotten 
it, or whether his letter is delayed. He has been 
in Washington on some business (I do not know 
what; I have given up asking now; he gave un 
telling some time ago), and was so overcome by 
the cruel heat of t' e .ace that he has fled to 
Maine to cool. I thmk I repd yesterday that 
the President is in the Rangeleys on a fishing- 
trip. Dana knows the President, who was a 
friend of Senator Herwin's, and I have fancied 
that he values this important acquaintance as 
one which he does not owe to my father. It is a 
week- since I have heard from Dana. I must 
say it occurs to me to wonder whether he has 
gone fishing with the President. In that case, 
letters will be uncertain. Dana likes to do the 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 179 

ui. <:rtain. and I will fy to be pref.ared for any- 
thing. 

I have bought th*. big lady doll tor Marion, 
but she regards this acquisition to htr family in- 
differently. Her devotion to Dombcy is unassail- 
able. In defei nee to this feminine weaknef, i 
contributed a golf-suit to Dombey's wardr ■'■•><■. 
She has named the lady doll Banny Doodle — a 
myst il appellation, intended, I think, to be a 
term of reproach. She is two years old tonight. 
She calls her fether " Pretty Popper," and cried, 
when she woke up, because Pretty Popper had 
not come home To be exact, she calls him 
" Pity Popper." 

September the fifleenih. 
I ONCE knew a discontentec' woman who lost 
an eye and lived in dange >f perfect bhnd- 
ness. She became sudde ..y cheerful and 
charming. 

" It is so much to keep one eye," she said. 

It is twc weeks since he came back. He did 
go fishing with the President, and I heard no- 
thing from him for ten days; but that seems 
now so small a trouble, all my troubles arc such 
dwarfs beside this which has happened, that I 
look upon myself with contempt for having ever 
been disturbed by them. Life seems to be a long 
chromatic scale, all its major notes expressed by 



i8o CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

its minors, or the other way if you choose. Suf- 
fering is purely relative. 

Who said, " The young are only happy when 
they experience pleasure; the old are happy 
when they are free from pain "? I have ceased 
to be young, but have not learned to be old. 

My husband is going as consul to Monte- 
video. The appointment was offered him, vir- 
tually, on that fishing-trip, and he formally ac- 
cepted it the day before he came home. He did 
this without consulting me. 

September the seventeenth. 
It is only by fragments, as I have the strength 
or can compass the courage, that I can write 
anything about it. Yet I have a confused con- 
sciousness that I had better record (though to 
what end God knows) some of the events of 
these days — which flee by me like racers run- 
ning on the -ns, blood-tracked. 

He began the night he got home, nervously, 
as if he were flayed to have it over : 

" Mama, I have accepted an appointment." 

" A pleasant one, I hope, Dana ? " 

"To me — yes. I don't think I have been 
well lately. I want travel, and distance, and a 
pretty abrupt change of scene. It is a foreign 
appointment." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 181 

One quick ^^Ah!" escaped me. After that I 
did not speak for a good while. I took up the 
baby, and put her in my lap, as if she were a 
shield between me and my husband. When I 
could not look at him, I could bow my face on 
her soft hair, and it steadied me a little. 

" The President was glad to oblige my fether's 
son. He would have done something different, 
something better, I think, if he could. There 
was no other post open but this just now. I 
don't mind it ; I want a different climate — I am 
really not well, though you never have found it 
out. Besides, I want something out of the com- 
mon course — a new experience — fresh life. A 
man of my type is not adapted to New England. 
He perishes of ennui in the life I lead here. At 
any rate, I 'm going. I am going in October." 
"You did not — speak to me — about it." 
My lips were so stiff that I am not sure they 
articulated the words, but I thought they did. 
" I am —your wife. You did not — tell me." 

"What would have been the use?" he said. 
"You would only have made a fuss. My mind 
is quite made. I am going to Uruguay." 
Then I know I spoke out, I think I cried out: 
" Uruguay?" 

I held out the baby at my arm's length be- 
tween us. I felt as if she might, as if she must. 



i82 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

protect me from what would happen next. I 
sat staring. 

"Do shut your mouth," he said fretfully. 
' That expression is not becoming." 

I put the baby down, for my head swam; I 
thought I should drop her. She ran over to 
b.m, calling "Pity Popper!" and poked Dom- 
bey mto his arms to be kissed. He did not 
touch them, either doll or child. I thought he 
dared not trust himself His face worked. I 
thmk he said ; 

" We might as well have this scene over." 
"And I?" I said. "And Marion? And 
Father? Father is felling; he is a dying man. 
You knew I could not leave Father -now' 
You inew we could not take the baby — to 
Uruguay." 

"You can do as you please," he replied stiffly 
" You are my wife. You have the right to 
come, of course. Or I have the right to ask it, 
for that matter. But I do not press the matter 
I wish you to please yourself" 

I got up and went to the window and looked 
out at the tree-house. It was moonlight, as it 
was the night he kissed me for the firet time 
and the shadows from the vines were floating over 
us. I could hear Minnie Curtis warbling at her 
piano. She was practising one of Dana's songs: 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 183 

Till the lun grows coW, 
And the stars are old. 
And the leaves of the Judgment Book unfold! 

I went back, and put my hand upon his arm. 
" Do you desert me ? " I asked. 
He threw my hand off with an oath. 
"Put me in the wrong — as usual! You 
always do. I 'm tired of your everlasting supe- 
riority. If I did leave you, you could n't blame 
me. Nobody could. We ought to be apart — 
we wear on each other — we need absence, a 
good dose of it, too. We only make each other 
miserable. We — " 

This was not all. I cannot write the rest. 
Some of his words will sound in my ears till my 
funeral bell. 

"Very well, Dana," I said. "Do as you 
please." 

"I do not leave you, you understand!" he 
cried hotly. " You are welcome to come with 
me. Or I will send for you by the next steamer, 
after I have found some sort of a place for you 
— if you prefer. You are at perfect liberty — 
to come, if you choose." 

"And Marion?" 

His eye wavered. 

"And Father?" 

" I did not marry your father. You <*re my 



i84 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

wife. You can accompany me, if you wish, of 
course." 

"I shall sail," he added, "the seventh of 
October." 

He was as white, by then, as the wedding- 
dress of Banny Doodle, whom Marion had 
dragged contemptuously by one leg, and flung 
head downward in her father's arms. I stood 
staring at those two spots of whiteness — the 
doll's dress and the man's face. Everything else 
in the room had turned black. I could not 
even see my child. But I heard her rippling : 

"Pity Popper!" 

I think she asked him to kiss her. And I 
think he did. 






October tie twenty-first. 

THE great crises of life are not, I think, 
necessarily those which are in themselves 
the hardest to bear, but those for which we are 
least prepared. My present fate has the distinc- 
tion of possessing both these features. Like 
many forms of distinction, it is more uncom- 
fortable than enviable. 

I suppose one ought to be glad if one is capa- 
ble of the sardonic. Perhaps it is a healthy 
sign. Probably that class of people who pass 
their lives in a chronic fear of being or of being 
thought "morbid" would call it so. On the 
contrary, I doubt if it is a sign of anything but 
the mere struggle for human existence. I am 
the mother of a child, and I must live. Since I 
must live, I cannot suffer beyond a certain point. 
I dimly perceive that if I could rise to the level 
of something quite alien to my nature, I might 
thrust off by sheer mechanics a measure of what I 
endure. I wonder if this expulsive power is scorn? 
185 



i86 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

There should be schools of the prophets for a 
betrothed girl or a bride. She should be taught 
to pray : " I find myself deficient in the first trait 
of character necessary to womanhood. Lord, 
give me scorn." 

I meant to record to-day — again to what end 
who knows? — something of what has happened. 
But I find I cannot sit up long enough. The 
pen shakes in my hand like a halyard in a storm. 

October the twenty-seventh. 
I HAVE written many letters to him, but have 
not sent one yet ; I can't do it. If I am wrong, 
I shall be sorry and repent ; so far, I do not find 
it possible. 

He sailed on the seventh of the month, as he 
said he should. For a long time Dana has done 
everything that, and precise"}' as, he purposed. I 
cannot remember when he has yielded to an ex- 
pressed wish of mine because I expressed it. 
Perhat-s I should have given this more weight, 
as a sign of deviation in his feeling toward me; 
but in fact I have regarded it as a form of ner- 
vousness. Yet I cannot see that he is ill, except 
now and then, as everybody is. Indeed, much 
of the time he has been in better health than 
usual — vigorous, a limated, often excitedly so. 
He has had mpny moods and phase? but in one 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 187 

respect he has undergone none : his determina- 
tion to break away from his surroundings has 
been sustained till it became inflexible. A con- 
sulship is only the mold into which his will has 
hardened. It happened to be Montevideo. It 
might have been Venice or Constantinople, 
the Philippines or Hawaii. He cabled, as he 
had arranged, and said that he was safe and 
well. 

What took place between him and Father I 
never knew, and probably I never shall. The 
inevitable interview occurred the next day after 
he hurled the news at me, for it could not be 
said that he broke it. He came from the other 
house with face like clay, gray and stiff, and 
locked his library door upon him. How he re- 
ceived this, the first and probably the worst of 
many strokes which he must meet, I am not likely 
ever to be told. Men wince under another man'r 
rebuke, I observe, when a woman may pour ht 
heart at their feet to no visible impression. Father 
is as dumb as he in the marble group of the 
Laocoon. He has aged ten years since Dana 
went, and weakens visibly every day. We have 
scarcely dared to talk about it, either he or I. 
He sent for me once, and I went over, and knelt 
beside his chair, and laid my head in his lap, 
and said : 



i88 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 






" Never mind, Father ! " 

He put his hands upon my hair, and seemed 
to grope for me ; and then he began to sob — 
my father ! I have never heard that sound be- 
fore, since my mother died. I think he said: 
" Daughter Mama ! My poor daughter ! " But 
his words were broken. When I had com- 
forted him a little, and kissed his wet face, anc 
laid my cheek upon his gray hair, and blessea 
him, and calmed him, he struggled to his feet, 
and held me at arm's-length, and read my fece 
with the look which used to be called "the 
governor's eye " when he was in his prime. 

"You shall not stay — on my account," he 
said with the governor's voice. " You shall ac- 
company your husband, I will not come be- 
tween you. Ellen can take care of me; and I 
have been thinking perhaps some of the cousins 
would consent to live here and look after me a 
little. I should not need it very long. A wife's 
place is beside her husband. I will not consent 
to come between you and yours." 

I know that my eyes fell before my fether's. 
I think I thrust out my hands to ask him to 
spare me. But all I could say was : 

"Don't, Father! don't!" 

I tried to tell him that it was not he who 
came between me and my husband; but I 



i I 




* MY POOR PAUUHTItKl 



m' 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 189 

think he understood without the telling, for he 
did spare me. 

"I am not going to Montevideo," I said. 
" There is nothing to be done, Father. I have 
decided. I shall not accompany my husband — 
not now." 

Monday evening. 
Like a hurricane, gust upon gust whirling, the 
days that were left drove by. Dana became 
suddenly quiet and strange, almost gentle. I 
helped him in all the ways I could think of 
about his packing, and little things. I sewed a 
good deal, and mended all his clothes myself, 
not letting Luella touch anything. And I asked 
Robert Hazelton to put up a case of medicines 
for him for sudden illness, and tucked it in be- 
tween his golf-suits and his old blue velveteen 
coat — the coat I used to kiss. Robert hesitated, 
I thought, about the medicines. His face was 
set and stem. But he gave them to me. We 
did not talk about my husband's going to Uru- 
guay ; and I am sure that he had already heard 
of it. 

Oh, I did my best I It was a miserable best, 
for I do not think I am a brave woman, and 
sometimes I crumbled to ashes. Then I would 
go away alone, for a while, to regain myself, or 
busy myself with sorr- -'•der — anything that I 



igo CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

could think of that would give Dana any ease 
or comfort. I got everything that he liked for 
dinner, all his fevorite soups and meats, and the 
pistachio cream and sponge-cake. I find myself 
wondering if he would not have liked e5calloped 
potatoes better than souffle. And I would have 
given five years of my life if the fire had not 
imoked in the dining-room, a. d annoyed him so, 
that last day but one. 

The last day — the last day ! If I write about 
it, should I stand a chance of forgetting it for, 
let us say, the span of one omitted pang ? Som*. 
times it works that way. I slept a little toward 
four o'clock, between then and six. Thf ,shee 
moaned so that I had to stifle her with nanJ- 
kerchief. Once, in the night, I am su ■: his 
door opened, and once again I thought it did. 
And once I am sure that I heard him weeping. 

I did not cry — not hen. I only lay staring 
and still. T*"!! sea-son^ which he read to me in 
the Dowe Cottage before we were married kept 
coming into my head: 

The stirs swing like lamps in the Judgment HiU 
On the eve of the Day of the Last Awaking. 

I got up at six, and took care of Marion, and 
put on my old ruby gown. 1 had made up my 
mind not to go to the train with him, and I was 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 191 

glad I had, fn, when he saw me, the first thing 
he said was, " So you are not going to see me 
off?" with unmistakable reliet! I think he was 
afraid there would be a scene in 1 station, or 
perhaps he really felt as if he could nor bear it, 
himself. It would be something if I could be- 
lieve that. 

There was, in feet, nothing left to say or do, 
by that time. He had arranged with Father 
about all sorts of business concerns, and taught 
me how to use my check-book (I never had one 
before), and he had done all the proper things. 
You might have thought he was only running 
over to London and back for three or four 
weeks. 

" I will find some kind of hon-.v. Tor you when 
I can look about," he said Lveral times. To 
this I made no reply. 

" I will let you know at once, as soon as I 
come across anything," he repeated. But I felt 
that there was nothing to be said. 

" You don't .seem particularly anxious to join 
me," he complained. " Of course I don't wish 
to make myself disagreeable about it. I will 
write often," he added, "and shall cable as soon 
as I arrive." 

When I asked (still not replying), "Have 
you packed your thick silk flannels?" he flushed. 



I 



192 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"Other husbands do such things," he urged. 
"Other wives accept and accommodate them- 
selves; they do not claim a martyr's crown for 
the ordinary episodes of political life. You will 
get along, I am sure. You are very clever; I 
never knew you fail to do anything that you 
tried to do; and your father will relieve you of 
all business cares. You will do nicely until we 
can be together again — " 

" Do you want a photograph of the baby to 
take with you ? " I interrupted. I folded one in 
an envelope, and handed it to him, writing on it 
her name and age. Nothing was said about a 
picture of myself; nor did I speak of our being 
together again; I could as well have said it in 
the throat of the grave. I watched him strapping 
his trunks as if I were watching the earth being 
shoveled between us. 

Marion ran up and sat on the steamer-trunk, 
and commanded him, stamping her little foot: 
"Pity Popper take Baby widing! Take Dombey ! 
Take Baby.' " 

While we were packing his valise, a hand- 
organ came up Father's avenue, and began to 
play negro melodies. There was a woman with 
the man, and she sang shrilly, to a tambourine : 

Keef me from sinking down! 



■Mil 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



>93 






It was a bright day, and the maples on the 
avenues were of the topaz color, and had the 
topaz fire; they met against the sky like the 
arch of joy in some strange world where people 
were happy. But the woodbine on the tree- 
house, the one we planted the fah we were 
married, was ruby-red. 

At the last, some power not myself compelled 
me, and I ran out and picked a leaf of the red 
woodbine from the tree-house, and looked for a 
photograph to pin it on, but could not find any. 
It seems he had taken one, after all. And so I 
put the leaf into his dressing-case; but first I 
kissed it. He did not know. 

When he had said good-by to Father and to 
the servants, he kissed the baby, and put her 
down, and looked about for me. I was up-stairs, 
for all I could think was to get away, not to be 
seen by anybody; and he followed me. I thought 
he would. He came into our own rooms, and 
shut the door. I think he held out his arms, I 
think he spoke my name several times, but in 
very truth I do not know. I only know that 
the fountains of the great deep stirred and rose 
upon me. A woman's poise, self-control, self, 
respect, purpose, pride, resolve — these are grand 
sounds, great words : a woman's breaking heart 
defies them all. 



194 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I think when he tried to kiss me that I hid 
my hce, and slid from his lips to his breast, and 
down, with my arms around him, till I clasped 
his knees, and so sinking, I fell and reached his 
feet. And then I called upon him, and cried out 
to him — God knows what — such cries as heart- 
break utters and the whole-hearted cannot under- 
stand. I suppose I begged him not to go. I 
suppose I prayed him for love's sake, for mine, 
for the child's, and, above all and everything, for 
his own. I suppose I spent myself in a passio' 
of entreaty which I cannot remember, and he wiu 
not forget, — I, Marna, his wife, — wetting his 
feet with my tears. I have moments of wonder- 
ing why I am not ashamed of it. I think of it 
stupidly, without emotion, as something which 
had to be — the inevitable, the revenge of nature 
upon herself It was as if I watched the scene 
upon some strange stage, and criticized some 
woman, not myseltl for an excessive part she 
played. 

Last night I dreamed it all over, as if it were 
a play, and I sat in the audience, and Dana and 
I were on the stage. But when I looked about 
me, I found that the audience was serried with 
women, thousands upon thousands — that all 
Womanhood had thronged to the drama, and sat 
weeping; and suddenly I saw that the house rose 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 195 

upon me, because I alone did not weep, but * 
criticized the woman on the stage. 

"She is nature!" they cried. "She is ours, 
and of us, forever." 

But I looked into my husband's face, and I 
saw him debonair and smiling, and I cried out 
upon the women : 

" Then is nature set against nature, and woman- 
hood and manhood are at civil war." 

So I woke, and the door into Dana's room 
was open, and I remembered what had hap- 
pened. 

A SHORT letter has come from him ; it said that 
he was comfortable, and would give details by 
the next mail, and sent his love to Marion. 



X member the eighth. 
I WILL not be ill, and I cannot be well, and 
therefore am I racked. Dr. Hazelton wishes me 
to suffer him to offer some professii,nal service; 
I think he said there might be consequences 
which I did not foresee if I received no care. I 
shook my head, and he turned away; and then I 
called him back and thanked him, and shook my 
head again. 

What could he do? I am broken on this 
wheel. 



196 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



''Ncroember the tenth. 
"My dear Husband: I have your letters and 
your cable, and thank you for them. I have not 
written, partly because I have not been very 
well; but I am not at all ill. When you write 
mote particularly, I shall know better what to 
say. So far, I feel as if I were writing into the 
air. I shall become accustomed, no doubt, to 
the new conditions, and adjust myself to theni, 
Marion is well, except for one of her throats. 
She talks a good deal about Pity Popper. Father 
remains about the same, and there is no news 
except domestic items, which would not interest, 
and might annoy, you. 

"I am, faithfully, 

" Marna, your Wife." 

UNSENT 

Undated. 

" Dear Darling : I write you a thousand let- 
ters in my heart, and I fold them there, and seal 
them with my kisses, and blur them with my 
tears, till the words lean one upon another, and 
cling to each o her so that they are illegible for 
very clinging, as lovers are lost in oneness for 
very loving. 

" I am trying to bear it, since you have willed 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 197 

it — oh, believe I try! I keep hard at work, and 
am busy with Marion, and I am a good deal 
with Father, for I wiU not wade into my misery. 
It" I do, I shall be swept away. There is terrible 
undertow in a woman's nature — it would hurl 
me into an abyss. I wish I had been a different 
woman for your sake, Dana — not to mind things 
so, and not to grieve. I think if I had been of 
another fiber, coarser-grained, if I had not cared 
when you were not tender, or when I was alone 
so much, if I had been ruder of nerve or tissue — 
do you suppose you would have liked me better? 
I spend my nights thinking how I could have 
been a better wife to you. I can see so many 
mistakes I have made, so many ways in which I 
could have done differently and pleased you 
better. I dream a good deal about it, and always 
that you have come back, and that we are happy 
again, and that you love me, and are glad to be 
near me, as you used to be. But I do not ask 
you to come back. Act your own nature. Have 
your will. If 11 kills me, remember that I tried 
to bear it. Though it slay me, I will not pursue 
you with my love — my bruised and broken love. 
" Did you know you left your blue velveteen 
coat, after all ? I found it on the floor, and hung 
it up in your :loset. I was rather glad you did 
leave it, for it comforts me a little. I kiss it 



198 CONFESwiONS OF A WIFE 

every morning and every night — a good many 
times at night. It is fortunate that it is an old 
coat, for the shoulders and sleeves get pretty wet. 
" Your desolate 

" Marna." 



December the tenth. 
Dr. Robert allows me to go down to dinner to- 
day, the first time for some weeks. I think I 
must have been pretty sick, yet I cannot see that 
anything in particular has been the matter ; every- 
thing is in good condition, unless there has been 
a little feebleness of the heart's action ; but there 
is no real disorder, Dr. Curtis says. He has been 
in a few times to see me, but left the case, as he 
leaves most of his cases now, to Dr. Hazelton. 
Possibly there has been some congestion in the 
brain, hardly enough to call a fever — and, really, 
J don't care enough what ails me to insist on 
knowing, unless I am told. Neither of them has 
shown any uncontrollable desire to tell me what 
has been the matter. 

One night when I was lying in a sort of stupor, 
seeing strange things and thinking stranger, and 
not supposed, I am sure, to be capable of hear- 
ing any, I must have absorbed fragments of con- 
versation between the old doctor and the young. 

"Have you thought of trephining?" asked 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 199 

Dr. Curtis, with a doubt and a dogma warring in 
his voice. " If there should be anything in the 
nature of a concealed i-.flamniation — " 

"Would you operate for heartbreak*?" de- 
manded Robert, fiercely. " There is absolutely 
nothing else." 

" Damn him! " cried our old doctor. 
Dr. Robert did not answer. He got up and 
went to the window, and stood with his back to 
Dr. Curtis; — a short, strong figure, as stem as 
granite, he trembled like the river of light which 
broke through the closed blinds against which he 
stood. I saw the sun-motes whirling about his 
head and shoulders at the moment when I 
recognized him in that flaming stream. 

Now that I am better, and look back upon it 
all, I can see that it must have been Dr. Robert's 
fece which I saw so often when I was the sick- 
est — a calm, protecting pres-^nce, tireless and 
strong. I scarcely remember seeing Fanny at 
all. I could have blessed Robert, but I do not 
think I did. I dreamed so much of Dana, and 
had such visions, all the while. I tliought I 
should die, and Dana so many thousand miles 
away. Nothing was of any consequence but 
Dana. 

I wonder if I talked about my husband? 
Much? I dare not ask; and Robert would 






200 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

cheerfully be put to the second question, but he 
would not tell. I am glad that the doctor is not 
a stranger, if there must be a doctor at all. I 
suppose, really, he has been very kind to me. I 
must remember to thank him. 

To-day I found some of my letters to Dana 
put away carefully in a drawer in his desk, but 
not locked. I have taken out a few, and put 
them into the Accepted Manuscript: they will 
be safer there. 

December the eleventh. 
Ii occurred to me to ask the doctor if anybody 
had told Dana that I had been ill. 
" Your father," he said, " and I." 
" You did not cable for him ? ' I fired. I felt 
the color slap my cheeks. Dr. Robert made no 
reply. " I will never forgive you," I cried, " if 
you asked him to come home — tor this!" 

"The danger was not so imminent as to 
make it really necessary," he answered qi ^ly. 
Afterward this reply struck me as less candid 
than it might have been ; but I did not pursue 
the subject, for I saw that I had pained the 
doctor. 

To-day my husband's letters came — two or 
three of them, blockaded in the mails. They 
express the proper amount of concern for my 
"indisposition," — that was the word, — and re- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 201 

quest to be promptly informed of any change 
for better or for worse. 

What is it about that phrase ? Oh, I remem- 
ber. It was for better and for worse that we 
gave ourselves to each other. 

Wonderful, those ancient oaths, sanctified by 
centuries of bridals ! One must reverence lan- 
guage drawn out of the live, beating human 
heart — an artery of love through which a mighty 
experience has poured. 

" In sickness and in health " ? " Till death 
us do part"? Who knows but the time will 
come when the marriage service shall be thus 
amended ? — 

" Till sickness us do disenchant" " Till dis- 
tance us do part." 

Fanny Freer took her heart in her mouth to- 
day, and warned me in bo many words that I 
was becoming vitriolic. 

" It is quite unnecessary," she said. Fanny has 
taken care of me since I have been ill ; I have 
named her Mercibel — Angel of Sickness, Beau- 
tiful Mercy. When her dimple dips into her 
bow-and-arrow mouth she is irresistible. How 
divine is the tenderness of a woman ! It has 
ineffable delicacy, the refinement of a self-abne- 
gating nature, a something passing the affection 
of man. A woman hungers and thirsts for the 



202 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

compassion of her own kind. I lean to Merci- 
bel; "for my race is of the Asra." 
Men have little tenderness, I think. 

I HAD written so for when the doctor called. I 
must say Robert is very kind to me. There is a 
certain quality i.i his manner which I do not 
know how to define; an instinctive or an ac- 
quired forgetfiilness of himself, a way of think- 
ing no suffering too small if he can relieve it, no 
relief too insignificant if he can offer it. I am 
told that his patients love him devotedly, and 
that he sacrifices himself for poor and obscure 
persons to an unfeshionable extent, so that Dr. 
Curtis and the older men feel quite concerned 
about him. 

"Are there not hospitals and dispensaries?" 
they say. I believe they are plotting to tie him 
to a hospital of his own. Many people lean on 
him; they "clamor" for him, Mercibel says, 
and she has worked for him a good deal ; I sup- 
pose she knows. One need not clamor, and 
one may not lean, uut I do feel gratefiil to Rob- 
ert. Now that I am getting better, Marion is 
ailing; the doctor thinks this delicacy of her 
throat needs careful attention, and I am sure 
he gives it. Dr. Curtis tells me to trust her 
entirely to Dr. Hazelton, and that he has not 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 203 

his superior among the young physicians of the 
State. 

It is difficult to believe that Robert was ever a 
lover and suitor of mine. I have quite forgotten 
it, and I am sure he has. I wish he would marry 
Minnie Curtis. 

I wonder if Dana has written to Minnie? 
She does not mention it. I think she would if h* 
had. I have written to Dana to^ay. The doc- 
tor offered to mail it for me direct from the post- 
ofSce on his way down-town, that it might catch 
the outgoing steamer. I wish I did not find it 
so hard to write naturally to my husband ; but I 
think that my embarrassment grows worse and 
worse. I feel so bruised all the time ; it is as if 
he had beaten me — my soul is black. And he 
never raised his hand against me in my life. 
Mercibel tells me that husbands sometimes do 
such things. And he was often very angry with 
me — God knows why. 

I am glad he never did that. I should have 
taken the baby and gone out of the house for- 
ever. I can't say that I should not have wished 
I had n't, but I should have gone; I am quite 
sure of that, for I a'm so constituted. I am 
called a tender woman ; but there is a shield of 
implacability in me, steel, deep down beneath my 
satia If there were not, I think I should be dead. 




204 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

One day the doctor said to me in quite a 
casual way: 

" Did you have occasion to notice any marked 
nervous irritability in Mr. Herwin before he 
went to Uruguay — say the last six months?" 

" Why do you ask ? " I suggested. 

" I am answered," said Robert. He bent over 
the powders which he was folding collectedly; 
his profile was as impersonal as a symbolic 
medallion. 

"You will take these," he said, "one dry on 
the tongue every night. You will give Marion 
the others, in six tablespoonfuls of water, one 
teaspoonful every two hours." 

He rose, snapping the elastic .^n his medicine- 
case, and his lips parted. I saw that he would 
have spoken. In ftct, he left without another 
word. 

December the tuientieA. 
To-DAY the doctor said abruptly : 

"Write to your husband often; and — par- 
don me — write as kindly as you can." 

I sat staring. Robert has never spoken so to 
me before. I was inclined to resent his words ; 
but it would have been impossible to resent 
his manner. This is something so fine and com- 
passionate that I do not know how to qualify it 
Mercibel calls it his oxygen. "That is what 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 205 

they clamor for," she says, "an invigoration that 
can be breathed. Every patient feels the same 
about him." 

I wonder if Fanny wanted me to understand 
that the doctor had no particular manner reserved 
for myself? She need not have undergone any 
anxieties. She does not know that Robert and I 
meet like two spirits, having left all personal re- 
lations hr behind us in an old, forgotten world. 



" January the third. 

"My dear Husband: I have not been quite 
strong enough to write you any details before 
now, and I knew that Dr. Hazelton had cabled 
you, though I did not know it until several days 
afterward. I shall hear from you soon, no 
doubt. 

" I had been over to see Father rather late that 
evening, and had carried him our little presents, 
Marion's and mine, and he kissed me good night 
three times, and blessed me, and said : 

" ' Daughter, you have never given me one 
hour's anxiety; you have been nothing but a 
comfort to me from the first moment that they 
laid you in my arms.' 

" In the morning, in the Christmas morning, 
while it was quite gray and early, Luella waked 



2o6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

me, and said that the doctor was down-stairs and 
wished to see me for a moment. Even then I 
did not understand; I thought perhaps he was 
called away on some long case, or out-of-town 
consultation, and had come to leave directions 
about Marion, — for he takes such care of Marion 
as I am sure you will be grateful to him for, — 
and I dressed and hurried down, stupidly. 

" Robert was standing in the middle of the 
library, and when I saw his face I said : 

" ' Something has happened to Father ! I 
will go right over.' 

" I started, and pushed open the front door, 
and out into the snow, for it had stormed (and 
the banshee had cried as she does in storms) all 
night. James had not begun to shovel the paths, 
and it was pretty deep. But before I had waded 
in I felt myself held strongly back by the shoul- 
ders, and the doctor said : 

" ' Do not go, Marna. There is nothing you 
can do — nor I.' 

" Ellen had found him at six o'clock, ' looking 
that happy,' she says. And the doctor got there 
in a few minutes, but he is sure that nobody 
could have saved Father. It was an embolism 
in brain or heart, they think. 

" We buried him beside Mother, on the third 
day of Christmas week. Of course 1 knew you 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 207 

cou.d not get Iw. e, and I tried not to think of it. 
He leu a serilf 1 letter for you. Shall I send it 
on? C/r v. ou'd you rather wait ? 

" You will forgive a short note, for I have not 
been quite well, and there are many cares and 
perplexities to be met. 

" Your affectionate wife, 

" Marna." 



Undafed. 

"My Darliko: I know you do not jealize 
what I am undergoing, and I tell myself so every 
moment, lest I should lose myself and think 
hardly of you. I say : ' It was so sudden that 
he could not come, and now that it is over, why 
should he come?' It is true I long for you so 
that it seems as if I could not live. But I do 
not like to tell you so. I am not used to bearing 
so much quite alone. I never had a real be- 
reavement before — I see now that I never did. 
I think if I could creep into your arms, and hear 
you say, ' Poor little wife I ' that I could cry. I 
find it impossible to cry. 

" I begin to understand for the first time some- 
thing of what people mean when they say : ' It 
was easiest for him, but hardest for us.' All those 
truisms of grief and consolation have never had 
meaning for me ; in truth, I don't think I have 



2o8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

respected them — the uncandid prattle about 
resignation, the religious phraseology made to 
do duty for honest anguish. But now I think 
of all the old human expedients enviously. Per- 
haps if I had been a devout woman I might 
know how to bear this better. Do you think I 
should? Dana, it sometimes comes to me, on 
long nights when I cannot sleep, to ask myself, 
with the terrible frankness of vigil, whether, if 
you and I had been what are called religious 
people, we should have found marriage any less 
a mystery — for us, I mean; any easier to adapt 
ourselves to. There may be something in the 
trained sense of duty, something — who knows ? 
— in that old idea of sacrifice, in the putting 
aside of one's own exacting personality, in the 
yielding of lower to higher laws. Do you sup- 
pose that the Christian idea can come to the rescue 
of the love idea? I do not know. I am teach- 
ing Marion to say her prayers. I hope you will 
not mind? 

" Dana, Dana, I love you I Sometimes I wish 
I did not; but I do. I cannot help it. I must 
be honest and tell you ; sometimes I try to help 
it. I think that I must stop loving you or die; 
and I grcpe about for something to take the 
place of loving you, some interest that I could 
tolerate, any diversion or occupation, some little 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 209 

passing comfort, the kindness of other people to 

me, something to * keep me from sinking down.' 

" Your lonely and your loving 



" Marna." 



SENT 



" January the fifteenth. 

"My dear Husband: You will be notified, 
of course, in the proper way by Father's lawyers, 
but I am sure you should hear it first from me. 
The property is found to be in a strange condi- 
tion — depleted. Dr. Hazelton calls it. There 
are some shrunken investments, and there has 
been some mismanagement at the factories since 
^' hzs been obliged to delegate everything so to 
■.■' ' men, who have not proved conscientious. 
1 '.en there are those lawsuits about his patent 
on the linen thread — you know you used to 
take a good deal of that off his hands; but lately 
I think he has been wronged somehow, and was 
too feeble to right himself At all events, some- 
thing like a couple of hundred thousand is swept 
away. And, in fact, my inheritance will prove 
so small that I am thinking seriously of renting 
the old place. Do you object? I have only 
Father's friends to take counsel of, and Mr. Gray 
advises me to do this, decidedly. 

" Please reply by next steamer. 

" Your affectionate Wife." 



210 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

CABLE MESSAGE 

,. u ■ TT ■ . . "January 20. 

Mtrmin, United Sutei Consulate, 

'• MenteviJec, Uruguay. 

"Drs. Curtis and Hazelton wish Father's 
house sanatorium. Twenty years' lease. Cable 
reply. 

" Marna." 

SENT I 

" January the twenty-fifth. 
"My dear Dana: Your cable came after a 
little delay. J suppose you may have been out 
of town? We do not altogether understand it, 
but I fancy that happens with the cable. It 
seems clear, however, that you interpose no ob- 
jections, and, not knowing anything better to 
do, I have closed with the sanatorium offer for 
the old place. I think I would gladly be in Uru- 
guay if I need not see my decision carried into 
effect. I have put the whole affair into Mr. Mel- 
lenway's hands, so ,hat there shall be no blunder 
"It seems this sanatorium: idea has long been 
a fad of Dr. Curtis's and a dream of Robert's- 
and the other day that rich old man Pendleton' 
whom Robert has kept alive for years, surren- 
dered his ghost and his will. Everything goes 
absolutely to Robert to support a private hos- 
pital after his own unrestricted pleasure. Robert 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 211 



i 



says it is such an opportunity as some men in 
his profession would give their lives for. Dr. 
Curtis is to be the figurehead, but Dr. Hazel- 
ton will be in virtual control, being resident 
superintendent, but with a staff of subordinates 
which will permit him to retain portions of his 
private practice. Otherwise, Fanny says, his 
clientele would rise and mob him. If I must see 
anybody in the old house, I would rather it were 
friends than strangers. I am trying to mold my 
mind to it without grumbling. I think there is 
this about the great troubles — they teach us the 
art of cheerfulness; whereas the small ones culti- 
vate the industry of discontent. I hope you will 
be pleased with wliat I have done. You see, 
Dana, that what I have of Mother's has dwindled 
with the rest, and, I suppose, for the same reason. 
I hated to have to tell you, but really. Dear, I 
do.i't see just how we could get along if I did 
rot rent the place. 

" Thank you for your last letter. If they were a 
little longer sometimes, I could feel that I could 
form a better idea of your life. You seem as 
far from me as if you swung in a purple star 
upon a frosty night — at the end of dark miles 
measured by billions in mid-space. But I am 
" Loyally your wife, 

" Maksjl 



r 



212 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" P.S. Marion is becoming dangerously pretty, 
and your eyes grow older in her every day She' 
sends her love to Pity Popper, and commands 
that you kiss Dombey, distinctly omitting Banny 
Doodle, who is, at this writing, head down in 
tht umbrella-rack, by way of punishment for 
mvisible offenses. Last Monday Banny Doodle 
was saved by old Ellen, at the brink of fete, from 
bemg scornfully run through the clothes-wringer. 
"Ellen has asked my permission to spend the 
wmter with me, refusing any wages. Thank 
you for the last draft. I shall use it as wisely as 
I can, and I am learning to live economically, 
because I must. We have given up the tele- 
phone." 

May the twenty-fifth. 
It is one of the days that make one believe that 
everythmg is coming out right in some world, 
and might do so in this one if the weather would 
last. Showers of sunshine drench the brightest 
grass, the mistiest leaf, I think I ever saw. The 
apple-tree is snowing pearl and coral upon the 
tree-house. (If Dana could see it, I should be 
quite happy.) The world is one bud, Llossom- 
ing to a ftithful sky. 

Marion is out six hours of every blue-and-gold 
day with Job and Ellen, who, between them 
spoil the child artisticaUy. After her hard win- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 213 

t»r, the baby herself seems but a May-flower, a 
pink, sweet May-flower, opening in a shady 
place. If it had not been for the doctor — well, 
if it had not been for the doctor, I cannot think 
what would have happened, or what would yet 
happen. I cannot, now, imagine myself without 
him. He who saves her child's life recreates a 
mother. 

The old home and the new sanatorium are 
wedded more comfortably than I should have 
thought possible ; and I have outgrown the first 
pangs of jealousy. They call it the Pendleton, 
as if it were an apartment-house. The patients 
are not so many yet, of course, as to be disturb- 
ing, and the whole thing moves on rubber-tired 
wheels. Mercibel has a permanent position 
there. 

It is said that all sanatoriums, or such insti- 
tutions, are replicas of their superintendents. 
About this one there is a certain gentle cheerful- 
ness, a subtle invigoration, which is Dr. Robert 
all over again. He is the soul of his hospital. 

I have noticed that the preoccupations of very 
busy men do service as apologies for neglect of 
friendly claims to an extent which is deified in 
the spirit of our day, like a scientific error, or any 
other false cult. I, who have no claim upon 
this overworked man, either of his seeking, or 



214 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

of my wishing, or of the world's providing, am 
touched by a thoughtful ness which I have no 
right to exact and no reason to expect. When 
I think of ihe intricacies which have resulted in 
the simple circumstance that my father's house 
has become a private hospital, I must feel that 
the hand of mercy has remembered me. 

Once when Father was caljing on Whittier at 
Amesbury, Mr. Whittier said : " I wish I had 
thee for a neighbor." I have often wished I had 
a neighbor, a soul-neighbor who was a house- 
neighbor. I never had before. 

All this cruel winter my old friend has be- 
friended and defended me from every harm 
between which and myself he could, by any in- 
genuity of the heart, interpose his indefatigable 
tenderness. 

I choose the word, but I do not give it the 
lower translations. He has taught me what few 
women learn, what fewer men can teach, that 
there is such a thing as trustworthy tenderness. 
I might almost call it impersonal tenderness. 
Language does not betray it; expression docs 
not weaken it. It is as firm as the protection of 
a spirit, and as safe. Swept into the desert of 
desolation as I am, something upholds me, that 
I do not perish. Is it mirage, or is it miracle f 
There is a marvel which many women dream of 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 21 j 

but do not overtake — the friendly kindness 
of a strong, good man. 

May the twenty-seventh. 
No letter has come yet from Dana. It is now 
three weeks since I have heard. Once, in the 
winter, it was four. 

" I would keep on writing," the doctor says. 
How did he know that I had not? Sometimes 
it seems to me as if I could drop into the un- 
fathomable silences, and at other times as if I 
must Dana's letters are no more natural, I per- 
ceive, than mine. Some of them are curiously 
involved and elaborate, and others are one dash 
of the pen, like a tongue of fire that may reach 
anything or nothing. 

He writes so frostily in one letter that my 
heart freezes; and in the next I find a kind of 
piteous affectionateness before which I melt and 

weep. 

He has ceased to speak of makmg a home tor 
me in Montevideo. At first he wrote a^,.ut 
hotels and the discomforts of housekeeping — 
about the spiders and lizards. After that he said 
that the climate would not do for Marion, and 
that there was no doctor in the whole blanked 
country to whom I would be willing to trust the 
child. There is a certain something in his let- 



2i6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

ters which perplexes me. I showed one of them 
in April to Robert. 

" Do not resent this," he said. " Be patient ; 
be gentle." 

He walked across the room, and returned. 

" As if," he added, " you were ever anything 
else I " I could have thought that his grieving 
lip was tremulous. He has a delicate mouth ; 
but it is stronger than most delicate things, and 
never betrays him. 

nid I once think him a plain person? At 
tii.-.ci his str.jng, unostentatious face assumes 
transfigurations. There have been moments in 
my desperate and desolate life this year when 
he has looked to me like one of the sons of 
God. 



How manifold may be the simplest, sanest feel- 
ing ! I cherish in my soul two gratitudes — that 
->f the patient, and that of the mother — to this 
kind, wise man. I might add a third : the 
thankfulness of an old fr'end for a new loyalty. 
To-day the doctor said to me, quite incidentally: 
" The next time you write to Mr. Herwin, pray 
tell him that I suggested that he should hunt up 
that medicine-case, and take atropine 3* twice 
daily." 

" What for « Malaria f " I asked. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 217 

" I think you said he complained of malaria," 

replied Dr. Hazelton. 

"June the first. 

Marion had one of her feverish turns last night, 
and Ellen went for the doctor. It was a warm, 
soft night, and we had only candle-light in the 
room. I use Robert's candlestick a good deal 
for sickness; it holds an English candle that 
bums all night. 

When he had stirred Marion's medicme, and 
covered the tumbler in his conscientious way, he 
nodded at the gold candlestick. 

" You keep it well polished," he said, smiling. 
" It has proved a faithful compass," I answered, 
smiling too. "I believe they don't alwa> do 
they ? I heard the other day of a wreck on the 
coast oi Norway which was caused by the de- 
flection of the needle." 

" Yes," said the doctor, " I read that. It was 
attributed to a magnetic rock. There really are 
such, I think, though they are rare." He began 
to talk about the coast of Norway with more m- 
terest, I thought, than the subject called for. It 
was as if he deflected my mind from the compass. 
I felt a trifle hurt, and a certain pugnacity mto 
which I lapse now and then (and for which I 
am generally sorry) befell me. I took the com- 
pass up and shook it. The candle flared out 



2i8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I lighted it again as quickly as I could, for the 
baby complained that I had "grown it dark" 
and she could not see "her doctor." He 
watched the needle mounting steadily. 

"See!" I cried, "the candle went out But 
the compass holds true. The needle points due 
north, Etoctor." 

" And always will," he answered solemnly. In 
the vague light, and moving away from me as he 
was, for he had risen abruptly to end his call, 
his strong features were molded by massive 
shadows. Even in stature he seemed to change 
before my eyes, and to grow tall, as figures do 
that one sees in a fog. 



^unt the fifteenth. 
Dana's letter has come at last. It is a very 
strange- letter. He offers no explanation of his 
silence, no apology for the neglect. He writes 
with a certain vagueness which is almost too im- 
palpable to be called cold, and yet which chills 
me to the soul, like a mist when the sun is down. 
He sends his love to Marion, and I am to re- 
member him to the doctor. He is glad I am in 
such good medical hands. He mentions again 
that there is not a decent doctor in that country, 
and adds that he does not think the climate 
agrees with him, that he was fooled on the cli- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 219 

mate, and that the whole blanked nation is a 
malaria microbe. He incloses a draft (a small 
one), and inquires whether I had not better have 
the telephone put in again ; in tact, he makes a 
particular request of it. I wonder why his mind 
should ^ten on this, the only detail about my 
life which has seemed, for some time, to take a 
very distinct form to his imagination, or even to 
his recollection. 

I handed the letter to the doctor. Although I 
hesitated about troubling him, I did not hesitate 
about the letter. There is seldom anything now 
in my husband's letters which I could not show 
to another person, unless, indeed, I should not 
for the very reason that I could. Now and then 
some sharp word or phrase pierces the soft, elabo- 
rate sur&ce, — some expression like a stone, or 
a tool, which did not take the frost-work, or 
from which a clouded sun has melted it, — but 
for the most part Dana has ceased to be cross to 
me. Sometimes I wish he were. I read a story 
once of a poor woman who fled and hid herself 
from her husband (but he was one of the brutes), 
and, being illuminated by repentance, he sought 
and found her. His first expression of endear- 
ment was a volley of oaths. " The familiar pro- 
fanity," so ran the tale, " reassured the wife. She 
nestled to him in ecstasy." 



220 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

There is something in Dana's excessive and 
courteous good nature which troubles me. 

Dr. Robert read this letter slowly. I had the 
ill planners to watch his face boldly while he 
did so. It was inscrutable. He folded the 
letter and handed it back without a word. 

To-day Mercibel brought me this note from 
him — the first that Robert has written me since 
those old days in the other world where I was 
dear to him. It is a comfort to know that I am 
so no longer, and I am sure he has forgotten that 
I ever was. I am quite ashamed of myself that 
I recall it. Women have relentless memories 
about the men who have once loved and honored 
them ; I think they cherish these tender ghosts 
of experience after a man himself has virtually 
forgotten them. 

I fasten in the doctor's note : 



" My dear Mrs. Herwin : I have given the 
matter some thought, and I suggest that you 
have your telephone reconnected, as your hus- 
band seems to wish it. I do not know that my 
reasons for the advice are so definite to myself 
that I can very well make them clear to you; 
but, in fact, I urge it. 

" Sincerely yours, 

"Robert Hazelton. 



^g^^ 



i 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 221 

"Later. 

" P.S. I am called out of town on a distant 
consultation, and expect you and Marion will 
both keep quite well till I return. I shall be 
gone till day after to-morrow. In case of any 
sudden need, my first assistant, Dr. Packard, will 
do excellently, if Dr. Curtis should not be able 
to come to you. Dr. Packard has access to my 
case-books and Marion's remedies. 

" I have taken the liberty of asking the tele- 
phone people to call and receive your orders 
this afternoon. It may save you some trouble." 

I am ashamed to say that my discreditable 
impulse was to refuse to see the telephone man- 
ager when he came; for once I was a girl oi 
what is called spirit, and certainly Robert has 
taken upon himself — 

What? What can the doctor take upon him- 
self but a thankless and uneased burden, a 
neglected woman and her ailing child ? What 
can he take upon himself but sacrifices without 
hop 3S, duty without comfort « What shall I take 
upon myself but the ashes of repentance? I am 
not worthy of such high comradeship. 

I have ordered the telephone put in again. 

" My dear Doctor ; I send this to let you 
know at once on your return that I have obeyed 



222 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

you. The wire will be reconnected by Sunday, 
and I shall send my first message by way of that 
old and reestablished friend — if I may? — to 
yourself. 

" I do not find it easy to express my sense of 
obligation to you, but I find it harder not to do so. 

" I have been everything that is burdensome 
and trying, and you have been everything that 
is kind and wise and strong. I have been all 
care and no comfort ; believe that I understand 
that, even though I do not seem to. You are 
always nobly giving, and I am always pitiably 
receiving, some unselfish, friendly service. Some- 
times I feel ashamed to allow you to be so con- 
siderate of my child and of myself; and then I 
am ashamed that I have been ashamed; for God 
knows we have needed you, Marion and I. 
What would have befallen us without you I do 
not find myself able to imagine. I often try 
to explain to my husband, when I write him, all 
that you have done and been and are to us. 

" Far better than I can ever do, he will ac- 
knowledge your feithful kindness when he returns 
to us, and to himself Oh, Robert! do you 
think he ever will? I am 

" Your grateful patient and 
your sincere friend, 

"Marna Herwin." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



223 



July the fifth. 
Yesterday I was really ill. I think it was the 
terrible weather (of course I miss the sea), and 
something that troubles me, and the loss of sleep 
caused by the excess of patriotism on our street ; 
in fact, this has lasted five nights, culminating 
on the night of the third. The doctor says that 
his patients, some of whom are of the nervous 
species, have suffered to si ;h an extent that he 
is prepared to wish the American nation had re- 
mained in a colo.iial condition. He divided the 
entire night between his sick people and the 
ruffians on the street, for the private guard that 
he had provided proved incompetent to cope 
with them. Once, in the night, I heard foot- 
steps outside my cottage, and looking out, I 
saw the doctor's patrolman softly pacing around 
our house. Nothing has been said to me about 
this, and I have not told him that I know it ; 
but the tears smarted to my eyes — that little act 
of thoughtful care was so divinely like him. 

As I write, Ellen is singing to Marion in the 
nursery : 

His loving kindnen, 
t«ving ki-ind-ness, 
Lov-ing ki-i-zW-ness, oh, how greati 

Every time that Ellen strikes a high note Job 
barks. Ellen is a musical Methodist, and Job, 



224 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



Unitarian. I 
singing. The 



I have always maintained, is a 

think Job misses his master's 

piano has been mute, now, nearly a year ; I have 

never touched it since he left. Ours has become 

the home of the unsung songs. 

I am writing on in this preposterous way be- 
cause something has happened. It would be 
easier to record any histrionic episode, any thrill- 
ing incident of fate or of fiction, than the intan- 
gible circumstance which I wish to enter upon 
this candid page. 

What (I think I have said before) are the 
plots of event before those of feeling ? They 
seem to me inartistic and dull. 

I, who live — more quietly than most of my 
class and my years — the secluded life of a New 
England lady; who play only the poor role of 
the slighted wife, not even dramatically de- 
serted ; I, who have not the splendors of a great 
tragedy to throw high 11 gifts upon my gray story 
— I, too, experience drama. 

How shall I maintain my untaught part upon 
this stage of the spirit? For me it confuses 
more than if I were a woman of the world. I 
perceive that I am not representative of my day, 
that, young as I am, I belong to an elder time : 
I am an anachronism. For I am a woman of 
the home, and the homing nature has sheltered 
me. Mme. de Stael, when she was dying, said : 



iiSa 



aiiiiiii 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 225 

" I have loved God, my father, and liberty." I 
have loved my fether, my husband, and my child. 
Now every thought is a spectator in this, to me, 
uneducated action ; every hope, every feeling, 
every nerve, is an actor. My nature seems to 
be taxed with a new and imperious expression 
of itself Am I appointed to some solitary scene, 
some thrilling monologue, where duty and deso- 
lation are at war? 



When the doctor was called to-day, he seemed 
distressed at finding me more ill than he had 
supposed, though, really, I think it was what 
many physicians would have dismissed as a ner- 
vous attack, and disregarded. He said at once : 

" Did you have a letter yesterday ? " 

" I did not sleep," I answered ; " the boys in 
the street — " 

" Yes, yes, I know. Can I see the letter ? " 

" I think not — this time. Doctor." 

" Very well. Any news in it ? " 

" None. About the same thing." 

" It is not necessary for me to know details. 
What I must know is, has there been an emotional 
strain ? It makes a difTerence with the prescrip- 
tion. Your pulse is not quite as firm as it ought 
to be. You were grieved at something ? You 
need give me no particulars — " 

He turned to prepare his powders, and neither 



226 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

of us spoke. Marion did the talking ; she trotted 
up to my lounge, and asked when Pity Popper 
would ccme home. 

"You are to sleep, no matter how much 
trouble it takes to keep the house still," the 
doctor said peremptorily. " I will give orders to 
the servants myself as I go down. Ellen shall 
take the child over to Mrs. Freer for a few hours. 
I will ring and direct this." 

He rang, and Ellen came, and Marion went. 
The doctor went on folding powders calmly. I 
turned my face upon the sofa-pillow, and closed 
my eyes. I had on one of my thin white gowns, 
and the lace at my throat stirred with my breath, 
and tickled my cheek a little, so that it an- 
noyed me, and I started quickly to brush it 
away. 

The suddenness of the motion took him un- 
awares, and my eyes unexpectedly surprised his. 
He had finished folding powders, and sat look- 
ing at me, thinking that I would not see, be- 
lieving that I would not know, perhaps — God 
grant it I — himself not knowing how it was with 

him. 

It all passed like a captured illusion, which 
escaped, and refused to be overtaken. The soul 
of the man retreated to its own place, and the 
lens of the physician's guarded eyes passed 



jmmm 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 227 

swiftly before his. The defense was something 
so subtle but so instantaneous as to be superb. 
I honored him for it from my heart. 

But, ah me, ah me ! Some other man, some 
stranger, some new friend, might perplex me, 
but not this one. For I had seen Robert look 
like that — how long ago! — when he was free 
to love me, jnd I to be beloved. 

July the sixth. 
I SAID that something had happened. What? 
The lifting of an eyelash, the foray of a soul. 
Nothing more. Yet am I hurled by the move- 
ment of the drama. 

To-day Dr. Packard came to make the pro- 
fessional call. He reported Dr. Hazelton as 
excessively busy, and summoned off on a con- 
sultation by an early train. How haggard Rob- 
ert looked that last time he was here ! He had 
slept less than any of us. His eyes had the in- 
somniac brilliance and the insomniac honesty. I 
do not think I even told him that I was sorry 
for him. The omission taunts me now that I 
cannot see him. 

SENT 

" July the seventh. 
"My dear Husband: Your last letter hurt 
me. but I will not dwell on that. I am sure that 



228 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

you must have felt truly ill to writ: just as you 
did, and I am distressed and anxious. I cannot 
think that the climate agrees with you, as you 
say. Your intimation that you may not serve 
Out a much longer term in the consulate would 
have given me pleasure but for — you know 
what. There seems to be always a lost bolt in 
the machinery of human happiness. As you 
say, the mill never turns witli the water that is 
passed. New currents sweep the whirling wheti, 
and new forces start the life and fill the heart. 
" Marion is well, and I am better. 

" Your affectionate wife, 

"Marna Herwin. 



" P.S. No ; I do not mind that gossip about 
you. I would not stoop. I could no more be- 
lieve it than I would believe it of myself. Give 
yourself no concern on that score. Whatever 
else may happen, you are incapable oi that. 

" I cannot deny that it wounds me that I am 
not in a position to defy the world and the worst 
with my confidence in my husband — my ulti- 
mate confidence burning deep in the dimness 
where the great elements of character are forged. 
But of this we need not speak. Let it sufiSce 
that I trust you, Dana. 

"And, Dear, I have sometimes thought that was 



m^^ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 229 

a wicked proverb. It may not be the same 
water that turns the mill, but it is the same 
stream, Dana." 

July the eighth. 
To-day the doctor came. He has resumed him- 
self altogether. Except for a sheen of his trans- 
parent pallor, he was much as usual — cheerful, 
quiet, strong. He made a strictly professional 
call, and it was brief. He regretted that he 
did not find me better, and I protested that 
I was quite well ; and we talked of the 
weather, and of Marion, and of the climate of 
Uruguay, which, it seems, bears an excellent 
reputation. 

He left a new remedy, and rose to go. Swiftly 
my common sense deserted me, and I lapsed into 
one of the lunacies for which sick women, above 
the remainder of our race, are, I believe, distin- 
guished. In point of fact, I felt physically weak 
enough to cry my soul out, and leave it for the 
doctor to pick up and put back — as if one 
dropped a bracelet, or a flower. It seemed to 
me a laudable evidence of self-restraint that I 
should only say : 

" Why did you send Dr. Packard ? I missed 
you, Robert." 

" Did you ? " he asked gently. He took my 
hand with inefiable tenderness and delicacy, and 



230 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

then he laid it down upon the folds of my white 
dress. 

" I think you are righ'," he said quietly. " It 
was not very brave. > do not mean that you 
shall miss me too much — -nor — " 

The sentence broke. His eyes said : " Nor do 
I mean that you shall need me too much, either." 
But his lips said nothing at all. 

UNSENT (addressed, STAMPED, AND HELD OVER) 

Undated. 
*• Dana I Dana ! Come back to me I I fling 
my pride to the stars ; I never had any too much 
of it, so far as you are concerned, my dear, — not 
since the day you made the Wilderness Girl 
your prisoner, — and I clasp you * . my heart, 
and cling to you. Do not stay ' . ay too long, 
not too long ! Do not push the risks of separa- 
tion too fer, I do entreat you. I am a young 
wife, Dana, not used to solitude and care, and 
I never was neglected in my life before — and 
you know I don't bear loneliness as well as some 
wor-";n do. I thought I was a constant woman, 
and 1 think so. But I cannot answer for myself, 
Dana, if this should last, if I should be tried too 
cruelly. There is an invisible line in a woman's 
nature of the existence of which I begin, for the 
first time, to be aware. Once crossed, I perceive 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 231 

that all the powers and principalities of love can- 
not recross it I have often thought it must be 
the final anguish if I should be compelled to ad- 
mit to my own soul that you had ceased to love 
me. Dana, there is a Snality worse than that. 
If I should cease to ktveyou — then God help us 
both ! Everything is mine as long as love is. I 
sacredly believe that anything may be ours as 
long as I love you. Hope can live as long as 
love does. I could be so tender to you — yet. 
I could be so patient, and try so hard to make 
you happy — yet. 

" There have been times (I wrote you so, can- 
didly) when I have tried not to love you, in very 
seli^lefense. I commit that spiritual gaucherie 
no more. Now I summon my love, and cherish 
it, like some precious escaping bird, lest it evade 
me. Ah, help me to cage it, Dana ! You only 
can. 

"Did you ever think what it means to be a 
desolate woman, to sit alone every day and all 
the evenings? Do you understand how for a 
little kindness goes to a lonely wife — thought- 
fulness, unselfishness — the being remembered 
and cared for ? Did you never put the question 
to yourself — No ; I know you never did. And 
I say you never shall. 

" Dana, I ask you to come home. It is the 



232 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

first time, you will bear witness to me. And I 
cannot tell you all the reasons why I do. In- 
deed, I do not think I un<ler8tand them quite 
myself. But I think you would respect them, 
and I must tell yfju that I shall not ask again. 
"Lojaiiy and longingly, 

" Marna, your Wife. 

jfuly the tenth. 
I THOUGHT I would go out myself, to-night, and 
post that letter in the old box that has stood for 
years on the elm at the opening of the governor's 
avenue ; it was put there by way of honoring my 
&ther and making his large mail easier for him 
to deal with. 

It is a hot night, and there is a burning moon. 
I ran across the lawn with Job, as I used to do, 
as if I still had the right, not coming very near 
to the Pendleton Hospital ; but I could see it 
quite plainly — the patients on the piazzas, the 
lights in the long dining-room windows and in 
the library, which is the doctor's office now. He 
was sitting at his desk, absorbed and busy. I ran 
on to mail my letter. When I got to the box, I 
changed my mind, and thought I would not do 
it. So I came back slowly, by the avenue, 
meaning to cut athwart the shrubbery and come 
out by the tree-house quite unnoticed, for I felt 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 233 



oncen- 
,0 give 



aa if all the moonlight of the world w 
trating on my organdie ; white dres : 
one th.ii. impression on moonlit nights. 

When I reached the tree-house the doctor was 
walking slowly up the garden path, between the 
July flowers. He had one of his patients with 
him, a deaf old lady who is gifted with fits. 

" I ain't had but six to-day," she announced. 

Now Job docs not like that old lady, and he 
has acquired an unfortunate ten(^ncy to take her 
by the hem of her dress and spin her round. As 
I turned to anticipate Job in this too evident in- 
tention, I dropped my letter. The doctor picked 
it up and handed it to me. 

" You did not mail it," he said. 

" I decided not to. Doctor." 

"Why?" 

When I made no answer, his face settled sternly. 

"Wait a moment, Mrs. Herwin," he com- 
manded in his professional voice. " I shall re- 
turn directly." 

" And only seven yesterday," put in the old 
lady. 

" Doctor," I said, " she will have sixteen if 
Job plays top with her in his present frame of 
mind. I can't manage him much longer." For 
Job was barking, and wriggling out of his collar 
to get at the old lady. 



234 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



Smiling indulgently, the doctor drew his 
patient away, and Job and I went up into the 
tree- house to wait for him, and the large moon 
regarded me solemnly through the vines. " Not 
here," I thought, "not here!" For I remem- 
bered Dana. So I came down from the tree- 
house, and went into my own home, and Job 
went with me. In a few minutes Robert came in, 
knocking lightly on the open door, and waiting 
for no answer. He did not sit down, but began 
at once : 

" Tell me, why did you not mail that letter 
to your husband ? " 

" Tell me why you ask." 

He sighed, and turned. 

" I know I seem to presume," he said wearily. 
" But I thought you would forgive me, Mama. 
And I had the feeling — of course I may be 
wrong — that the letter had better go. Any- 
thing that comes from your heart — anything 
that could do any good — " 

He did not finish his sentence, but abruptly 
left me. I went to the door, and watched his 
sturdy figure quickly crossing the lawn and the 
hospital grounds, till it disappeared in the sacred 
shadows of my father's house. I waited till he 
bad been gone awhile, and then ran out with 
Job and mailed my letter. 



VI 



July the thirtieth. 

HEATED seven times, the days pass through 
the furnace. Only the nights are possible, 
and one lies awake much to realize the fact 
Really, I find them more merciful than they often 
are in this terrible month. While the moon lived 
they were solemn and unreal, like the nights of 
an unknown planet in which one was a chance 
visitor. My brain burned, my head swam; I 
thought strange thoughts and felt new emotions, 
and was an alien to myself Now that the 
moon is dead, there is a singular quality in the 
darkness; it creeps on compassionately, like 
delicate and tender feeling, shielding one from 
the fiery trouble of the obscured sun. I long for 
the dark, and when it comes I feel as if it were 
a cool hand, and I lay my cheek upon it, and 
am quieted and comforted — no, I am not com- 
forted. I have not heard from Dana for eighteen 
days. 

somewhere in a society novel, once. 



ety 



*3S 



236 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

of a husband and wife who could not live to- 
gether, and she smiled and said : 

" Dear Bertie is on a yacht." 

But after a good while " people began to think 
that yachting trip had lasted rather long." I won- 
der if people think that Uruguay is lasting rather 
long? But I am astonished at my fixed indif- 
ference to that sort of sting; what I endure i, so 
much more important than any one else's view 
of what I endure. Married man and woman 
are a universe to themselves. Other persons 
look small to me, and quite distant, as if they 
were the inhabitants of a different solar system. 

The telephone people have changed our num- 
ber. It is now 26 — 6, and went, I believe, into 
the new book. 

August the fifth. 
Marion's head hangs like a sun-smitten flower, 
for the first dog-days are cruel to her, and the 
doctor has been to see her every day for nearly 
a week. She is better for the tireless attention 
which he never fails to give her, and she has 
grown very fond of him; he, I think, of her. I 
found him to-day with the child on his lap, and 
Dombey in his arms; Banny Doodle suspended 
head first from his necktie, which had been un- 
tied and retied for the jpurpose (who can fathom 
the mental process which leads my daughter 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 237 

systematically to deny to this unfortunate doll 
the right to stand upon its feet ?) ; and Job was 
crawling up his back. Job was engaged, I 
think, in the noble purpose of rescuing Banny 
Doodle. Job is attached to the doctor, but not 
devotedly so. If the truth were known, I think 
Job misses his master, though he would not 
admit it for a pound of chops. The doctor is 
not the master, and the master instinct in the 
dog is stronger than his affections or inclinations. 
I have found him several times, lately, sleeping 
on a glove or a slipper of Dana's. I think Job's 
jealousy of my husband has yielded to a sense 
of anxiety about him. We are all growing a 
little anxious. The doctor's eyes ask every 
day, and he telephoned me last evening to 
know if I had heard. 

What would become of me without Robert ? 
He never forgets, he never fails, he never neg- 
lects. He carries my hapless lot as if it were a 
shield that he might be brought home dead 
upon and not regret it. He guards me, he 
comforts me, he " keeps me from sinking down." 
He counts himself out; he never thinks of his 
own ease, of the burden that I am, of the price 
that I may cost him. 

I am not worthy of this chivalry. I always 
knew that Robert was a gentleman,— and, after 



238 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

all, there are none too many, — but now I per- 
ceive him to be a Knight of the Sacred Circle 
where honor and tenderness are one quality. 
He is faithful to "the highest when he sees 
it," because that is his nature, and he can trust 
himself to his nature; and I — I can trust 
him. 

I write to Dana sometimes how kind Robert 
is to us, and I have tried to explain to my hus- 
band precisely how I feel about the doctor. I 
think Robert is very much troubled about Dana's 
long silence. To-day I took him unawares and 
asked him quite quickly : 

" Have yau written to Mr. Herwin ? " 
His face took on its transparent look, whiten- 
ing visibly, but otherwise he showed no emotion, 
and certainly nothing that could be called em- 
barrassment. 

"Why the question, Mrs. Herwin? " 
" Don't you wish me to ask it, Dr. Hazelton ? " 
"It is your right, of course. But — no — I 
do not wish it." 

"Very well. Doctor. I will not ask it agam." 
He got up and paced the room, widi his 
hands in his pockets, and went to the window. 
The blinds were closed and the light smote 
through, and I saw the man as I did once be- 
fore, standing in a gleaming stream with the sun- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



239 



'I 



motes whirling about his head. He wheeled 
unexpectedly. 

" I will not confuse you. I have not written 
to your husband. But if I should ever see oc- 
casion to do so, I wish to take the liberty with- 
out being questioned." 

"Take it," I said. I held out my hands 
toward him. "It is an unrestricted deed." 

" You are quite sure that you trust me ? " he 
asked, with just a perceptible catch in his breath. 
Then I said : 

" I would trust you, Robert, to the uttermost 
ends of fete." And so I would. Who in all my 
life has proved trustworthy, if nor this old friend ? 
Only my dear dead fether ; no one else. As I 
write, the candle is lighted by Marion's crib, and 
I can see the compass pointing north. There is 
something about this effect of gold and cndle- 
light that I wish I knew how to explain t my- 
self — I mean the sense of rest that it gives me. 
It melts upon the nerve like late sunlight upon 
green branches, or firelight upon happiness. 
And yet that is not what I wish to say. I am 
losing my power to express beautiful thoughts, 
so many tragic ones devour me. Is the sense of 
beauty meant only for the young, the inexperi- 
enced, and the happy ? I have always thought 
it was safer for the old and the sad. 



240 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

August the sixth. 
I USED to dream incessantly about Dana. At 
first there was scarcely a night that was not 
cruel with him ; then it would happen for three 
or four together, with spaces of mercy between. 
He was generally in some trouble — ill, or in 
prison, or lost. There is one Uruguay swamp 
which I think must be on the map, I know it 
so by heart : it has palmettos, and yucca-bushes, 
and seven cypress-trees in the foreground ; there 
is an old bright-green log with a" viper on it, 
coiled (he wrote me about one called vwora 
de la cruz because it had marks like a cross on 
its head). Dana stands at the end of the log, 
the end which dips into the water; he stretches 
out his hands to me, and the log sinks, and then 
the snake springs. 

There is a prison in that country, somewhere, 
barred with iron crosses at the windows, and he 
comes to the window of his dungeon, — he is far 
below the ground, — and lifts his arms, and I can 
see his fingers and enough of his left hand to 
recognize his wedding-ring. But I cannot see 
his face, and I wake calling, " Dana ! " 

Then there were dreams when I saw his fece, 
and woke to wish I had not. It was turned 
quite fully to me, and it was dark and offended. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 241 

I cannot say that it was his freezing face, but 
he was always inscrutably displeased with me. 
Sometimes he retreated from me across a wide 
country, and I — for I would not pursue him — 
stood with vast spaces between us, and wrung 
my hands. At other times I could hear him 
calling me repeatedly and anxiously, but I could 
not see him at all. Thrice I lay staring and 
sleepless all night, and at two o'clock I heard his 
voice distinctlyin my room. "Marna? Mama?" 
he said loudly. 

Once I had a dear dream, and cried for joy of 
it. I thought he came home and in at the door 
suddenly, and ran his hand through his dark 
curls, and said in his old way : 

" Marna, what a darn fool I was to leave you ! 
I can't stand it any longer." I never had this 
dream except that one time ; and he took me to 
his heart, in the dream, and he cried out : " Have 
I been too sure you would forgive me ? " Then 
he found my lips, although I would have de- 
nied them (for my heart was sore with its long 
hurt), and he said : " This is the kiss that lives." 

I do not dream of Dana so often lately. I 
think I am rather glad of this, because the 
dreams lasted for days, and I was ill as long as 
they lasted. 



242 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

August the seventh. 
Minnie Curtis came over tOKlay, and asked 
what I heard from my husband. He was quite 
well, I said, by the last letter. I thought she 
regarded me with a certain pity, expressed in her 
blonde way, without the complexion of reserve, 
and I wondered why it did not annoy me. Only 
yesterday the doctor said to me : 

•|The strongest trait in your character is your 
indifference to inferior minds." 

" Some one has been talking," I said at once. 
"Not about—" I stopped, for I felt ashamed 
to have begun, and the color smote my face. 

"Don't be foolish. Mama," replied the doctor, 
gently. " Spare yourself I shall take care of all 
that." 

" Some one has been talking about Uruguay," 
I finished. 

"I am glad you mind it so little," he returned 
in his comfortable, comforting tone. 

" Doctor," I demanded, " when your patients 
are on the operating-table, wouIH hey mind a 
wasp? Or a hornet?" 

The doctor smiled : " I cannot say that I re- 
member ever to have seen an insert of the spe- 
cies, or any other, in an operating-room." 

" You have said it," I maintained. " They are 
never admitted." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 243 

When Minnie got up to go, she went over to 
the piano and began brushing the music about. 
I never knew a girl with Minnie's nose who was 
not, somewhere in sensibility, a defective. 

"Ah," she said, "the 'Bedouin Love-Song'?" 
She drummed a few chords of the prelude. 
Then indeed I rose upon Minnie Curtis. I 
think I actually took her by the shoulder, rather 
hard, and I know that I pushed her hand back. 

" Vou will not touch that music, if you please. 
I do not like it disturbed." 

Minnie colored and stared. 

" You don't mean to say — " she began. 

In point of feet, Dana's music remains just as 
he left it the last time he sang and played to me. 
I never allow any person to touch it, for any 
reason, and Luella and Ellen arc forbidden to 
dust the piano. But even Minnie Curtis's nose 
was equal to the situation. She did not finish 
her sentence. 

When she had gone, I sat and eyed the music. 

I love thee, I love but thee! 
W\th « love that ihall not die! 



1 whirled the piano-stool, which still spun with 
Minnie's retreated figure, and hid my fece upon 
the rack. Thus and then I tliought — and I 



244 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



-cord that I thought it for the first ti.e .„ ^y 
A man selects whom he pleases, and wins her 

pm^d nfl '^ """"' '"derness h, ex- 

inrSddS^'er'^ir-f-^^"^ 

'ong he had been trrt m^l^Tl'?: 
music on the rack. ^ ^ **' ** 

He did not suggest that he drive with us. but 
left me, smiling gently I Ho n«, Z , w 
thanked him ifTlT • "°' *'""'' ' even 

anked h.m. But Manon ran and ofered hia. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 245 

Dombey to kiss. This fact was the more im- 
pressive because she had just fed Dombey on 
raspberries and cream. 

August the tenth. 
Oh, at last! . . . Dana's letters came yester- 
day— three of them, stalled somewhere; whether 
in the mails, or in his pockets, or on his desk, 
who can say? He used to keep letters over 
sometimes, and I would find them in such queer 
places — once I found two ire the umbrella-rack. 
I say "he used to" as if my husband were 
dead. In all separations there are the elements 
of eternity; and in every ftrewell to the being 
we love we set foot upon an undug grave. 

Dana writes quite definitely and kindly. " I 
shall resign the consulship," he says. "You 
may expect me home this fell. I have had 
enough of it. I am convinced that the climate 
does not agree with me, and, in fnct, I am not 
very well." He sends more love than usual ti, 
Marion, and his gratefiil regards to the doctor, 
to whom I am to set forth tf fact that he is 
taking atropine 3X He adds a postscript : 

" I have been thinking how patient you were 
with me when I had that devil of a grippe. You 
were a dear old girl. Mama. A fellow misses 
his home in a blank of a country like this. When 
I get better shall you want me back?" 



246 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



SINT 

" jfugust the tenth. 

"My DEAR Husbakd: Your letters were so 
long delayed that we all had begun to be anx- 
ious. I do not think I will try to tell you how 
I felt when Ellen brought them in yesterday 
and laid them on my lap. There was war on 
her old face — tears and smiles. In my heart, 
too, were battling forces. .Between anxiety and 
joy, between my hurt and my love, I was rent. 
I had waited a good while for these letters, 
Dana. 

" Shall I want you back ? Try me and see ! I 
hurry this off by the outgoing steamer to tell you 
what an empty home waits for you how long- 
ingly, and what a 

" Loyal, loving 

" Win. 

" P.S. Marion is better, thanks to the doctor; 
she has not been at all well lately. I will write 
at more length to-night about her, and about 
whatever I think will interest you. This note 
goes only to hold out the arms of 

"Your Marna." 

August the eleventh. 
To-DAY the doctor came, and I showed him 
Dana's letters. I had, of course, telephoned the 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 247 

new* to him ye8t( u-v, as soon as I received it, 
and he came in '' ining. One would have 
thought it was his own happiness, not mine, that 
was in the t^ucstion. He had a high expression. 

*• I did not dare to liope for so much," he said 
joyously, " nor quite so soon." 

" A" least," I sobbed (for I could not help it), 
"he ir ai ve. He had bffn silent so long, I had 
begun to - S'ifter, Doctor. And I did not want 
to cable and make myself troublesome to him." 

Sometiiing in Hol>ert's fece or manner per- 
plexed me, and I said abruptly : 

'* You have l)een writing to him ! " 

" I have not written to Mr. Herwiiv" 

" Cabled, then V " 

" Nor cabled." 

"You might as well tell me wrut v .. f/- 
done. I think I ought to know." 

"You were so kind as to say that yo.. in. !td 

me." 

" And I do ! I do I Never mind, Doctor." 

" But I do mind, and I will tell you. I took 
steps to learn if he were still at the consulate. 
Of course I did this very quietly — and suit- 
ably." 

"How long ago?" 

" Three weeks." 

*' You did not tell me." 



24^ CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"I did not think it would make you any — 
happier, on the whole." 

" Have you ever done this before ? " 

He hesitated. " It is not the first time, I ad- 
mit. I want you to feel that I shall do what- 
ever is necessary and best for — you — " 

"Robert," I tried to say, "you are a good 
man. I bless you from my heart." 

"I receive," he said, "the benediction " 

He bowed his head and stood beside me 
quite siently; and before I could think what 
I should say, he was gone. 

- . August the twentieth. 

It is on record -.at the fakirs really do live 
buried for forty days, and are reanimated. It is 
with me as if I had held my breath since the 
seventh of October last, and now began to in- 
hale - feebly, for the long asphyxia. Now that I 
know I need not suffer, I scarcely know how to 
be happy. I„ the morning I wake and think- 
"It will soon be over." At night I fall asleep 
saying something that perhaps religious people 
would call a prayer. I have not learned to 
pray, for I am not yet religious: I am only dis- 
illusioned with the irreligious. I find that pa- 
ganism has not helped perceptibly in that form 
ot fate which has been appointed to me. " After 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 249 

all," I say, " there is a God, and He is merciful." 
And then I sleep — long, blessed nights. Any- 
thing can be borne, I think, if one sleeps, even 

joy- 

The days have wings. They fly from me 
like strange birds lost on their way from some 
tropical country. There are forest fires some- 
where, and here the August air is im pearled 
with haze, or smoke, or both. There is an unreal 
light all the time. The sun sinks like a burning 
ship in a sullen sea, and if there were a moon, 
she would be the ghost of a lovely mermaid 
diving. I feel excited every minute, as if — 
God knows what — would befall. I suppose it 
is because I am so happy. 

"Try to be calmer," said Mercibel, to-day. 
" It is quite unnecessary to wreck yourself" 

" Mercibel," I demanded, " have you seen me 
shed a tear? Or do any foolish thing? " 

" If I had," retorted Mercibel, dimpling, " I 
might have spared myself any comments on the 
subject." I can see that she watches me fur- 
tively. 

So does the doctor. No ; the adverb is mis- 
placed : I never saw Robert do a furtive thing. 
Rather should I say that he guards me quite 
openly. I think he has caused it to be genei^ 
ally known that my husband will soon be at 



250 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

home. He took us to ride yesterday. Marion 
and me; ,t is the first time that he has done so. 
He looks a little pale, but every recurrence of 
feelmg on h.s fece is receptive, as if he reflected 
my happiness. He has borne my troubles so 
long and so uncomplainingly, how glad I am 
to lighten his load ! I wish I could be merrier 
I am conscious of trying to express the expected 
amount of gladness for the doctor's sake It is 
remarkable how rigid the emotions grow when 
they have set in certain attitudes too long. 

August the thirty-first. 
Wk are very happy. Dana's letters come 
more regularly than they did, and I reply fre- 
quently and comfortably; I find myself much 
more at ease m writing to my husband. He tells 
me to expect him when his year's service is over 
if not, indeed, before, and that he will soon b^ 
able to be more definite. The neighbors (in- 
cludmg Minnie Curtis) come in and wish me 
joy, and some old friends who have had the 
delicacy to keep silent while I have been filling 
the role of the neglected wife hasten to share 
my relief from the position, and particulariy to 
congratulate me in that I did not accompany 
my husband to Montevideo. " The child made 
It impossible," they say politely. 



•iiwii^mi^'sm 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 251 

Marion talks incessantly about Pity Popper, 
and orders for a new bicycle-suit have been 
issued in Dombey's behalf, while Job is des- 
tined to a Yale-blue plush ulster; but Banny 
Doodle, whose wedding-dress is as gray and dim 
as an outlived honeymoon, is to have nothing at 
all — unless the clothes-wringer, a dark fate on 
the teeth of which this haoless doll is forever 
clutched. "Tell Ellen sqush her frough!" 
commands my daughter, contemptuously Mer- 
cibel asked me to-day, with some embarrassment, 
if I did not think I needed some new dresses 
myself I had not thought of it. I believe 
I have not had a new gown since Dana left. 
I compromised with Mercibel upon a long 
white cape to catch up and run about the 
grounds in. 

A lady told me once that she never in her life 
had ordered a black street-dress but that there 
was a death in the family, and she had given up 
black stre"t-dresses. 

I wonder, if I instituted a new ruby house- 
gown, if Dana would come home any sooner ? 
Or if we should be any happier when he did 
come? Colors are forces, I think, and their 
power lies among the subtleties and the sorceries. 
Who knows where it begins or ends? If the 
heart of the wife is in the ruby jewel, the arms 



mmwsitKmsmamvi 



2^2 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

of the wife are in the ruby velvet. . . . Shall I 
extend them ? 

My old gown is quite crushed and paled ; it 
has a grieved look. Why do I hesitate to have 
more wife velvet? Why is it so difficult to 
renew a faded rapture ? And is it a duty ? Or 
a sacrilege ? 

" You are looking tired," the doctor said to- 
day ; " we must have a better color before Mr. 
Herwin comes." He talks a good deal about 
Mr. Herwin's coming. He seems to think of it all 
the time. He is so kind to Marion and to me 
that I can but dwell on his kindness continually. 
It runs through my happiness — a comfort 
within a hope — like a thread of silver twisted 
with a thread of gold. The other evening I ran 
out with Job about the grounds, and I saw the 
doctor's shadow on the shades of his office win- 
dow; he was sitting at his desk, with his &ce 
bowed on his hands, and he looked to me (in the 
shadow) a lonely man. It occurs to me that it 
is rather noble in Robert to be so happy in my 
happiness. So was he grieved in my grieving; 
so was he broken on my rack. 

Sometimes it seems to me that he shelters 
my joy as if it were a faint flame that a rude 
wind might blow out — as if he nut his hand 
around it carefully. 



IPiiil 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



253 



" September the third. 

" Dana my Dear : I hurry this — it is but a 
postscript to my letter — to say that I am begin- 
ning to dream of you again (I have not lately), 
and that last night 1 had the dearest dream that 
ever a wife had of her husband in the dream- 
hiitory of separated married people. I thought 
you came home sooner thatj we expected you, 
and hwrried in, and said — But when you come 
home I shall tell you all about it, if you will 
care to hear. I shall not forget it. Some dreams 
are more real than fects, I find, so I treasure this 
for you. I am treasuring much. I am preserv- 
ing my power to be happy (for that is a faculty 
which weakens rapidly with disuse), and am fling- 
ing off my expcrierjce of suffering. I am forgetting 
that you have hurt me, and remembering that 
you are coming to me. I am forgetting that 
we have ever failed to make each other happy, 
and I am thinking that we loved each other 
dearly. And, Dear, I began to write this only 
to tell you that I have begun to count the days. 
I think you will sail on the 17th oi Octo- 
ber; don't you? And that is forty-and-four 
days. 

" And I am four-and-forty times your waiting 

"Wife." 



254 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

T • , , September the fifth. 

Last n.ght I dreamed again of Dana, and I 
wnte .t out to rid me of it. It was a comr^ite 
dream, and worse than any. There was the log 
and the swamp, the seven cypresses and the yucc^ 
and the v.per; the coil, the spring, and the &11^ 
and there were the bars of crosses, and the dun- 
geon, and h.s uplifted hand with the weddinc- 
^g. And there was always his dark, offended 

Then he came home, in the d«;am, and he 
was as he used to be before he went away 
and he spoke and he did-as he used to speak 
and do And, oh, .t all happened all over a^in! 
% husband was not kind to me- he was not 

I WENT to church tOKlay with Marioa "'f'hev 

1 , . , , ■ • • "nat II, when he comes 

back, It should be just the same ? Will the ice 

m h,s nature solidify? Or the fire of it melt* 

Ins a war of the elements. It is a strange thing 
when ,.f, ^^^^ ^^y . „ J ^^^^ ^^ _^ g^ g 

any other woman any chance acquaintance, what 
my husband W.11 do, how his character wiU 
express itself" '" 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 255 

September the tenth. 
And yet we are very happy. It is as if the bow 
of pam had bent, and the arrow of joy were fly- 
ing to its mark. We live in a kind of exaltation 
I can see my excitement reflected in every tact- 
-Mercibel-s, Marion's, Ellen's, and, most sens.- 
t.vely of all, in Job's; more unerringly than any 
person. Job knows when I am glad or sad 

The doctor's sympathy is a fact by itself 
something apart from that of other friends. It i^ 
like the atmosphere, or the law of gravitativMV I 
breathe ,t, and I stand upon it. What was I 
wntmg the other day about elements V There 
IS elemental peace as well as elemental war 

I am young and well (as women go), and I 
•nherit physical health, but I think, as I look back 
on the closing record of this year, that if it had 
not been for Robert I might have died. 
I told him so this evening. 
"Do not overestimate that," he said quickly 
We were sitting on the piazza, for there Is a 
warm starlight, and he had come ov^r to see if 
1 had heard any news from Dana. 

"It would not be possible," I persisted, "to 
tell you, Robert, how I feel about what you have 
done for me -the kindness, the care, the trouble 
you have taken for us — the obii,^tion— » 



256 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

Ellen, from the nursery above, where she 
w«^ putting Marion to bed. began to sing 

Hi. loving M-i.iiN,L„„,, ok, how great ! 

"Listen!" I «,hJ, laughing, and I held up my 
hand It »« iny left hand, and the moon 
Nazed upon my wedding-ring. I crossed my 
hands m my lap. and my betrothal ruby flared 
before my eyes and his, a gleam of crimson fire. 
The doctor did not speak, and I sat and watched 
the ruby -of all colors the glorious, the rap- 
turous, burning deep down to the heart. 

" It is chilly for you here." said the doctor 

You will come indoors." He did not speak 

quite naturally, though quietly and firmly, as he 

always does. He rose, and stood for me to pass 

in at the door. 

" Are n't you coming in ? " I cri, d. I felt dis- 
appointed; I am alone so much, and it is such 
a comfort to me to see my old friends— I have 
not too many. No; I will be quite candid: it 
IS a comfort to me to see the doctor. How could 
1 help that ? How could I ? If I ought I 
would And I should be willing to show him 
my whole heart and all that is therein, and I am 
sure he knows that, too. I have not a thought 
w»r a feeling that I should be uncomfortable to 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 257 

have him see, and when Dana comes I shall tell 
them all to Dana — every one. 

"I don't think I will come in to-night," re- 
plied the doctor. "My patients—" He paused. 

" How is the old lady f " I demanded. " How 
many has she had to-day ? " 

" Only two. I should soon discharge her, but 
she does n't want to go." He laughed. 
That laugh seemed to clear the air of I know 
not what, and I know not why. 

" There ! " I said. " You see for yourself it is 
much better to come in. Your patients are all 
quite comfortable just now. There is not one of 
them who needs you as much as I." 

Hesitating perceptibly, he came in. There 
was a fire laid on the library hearth, and he took 
a match and lighted it. The blaze leaped and 
struck him in the face. ... I was shocked at its 
expression. 

" I have hurt you ! " I managed to say. 

"Child," he faltered, " you cannot help it 

" — I wish to change Marion's medicine," he 
hastened to add in his usual voice, " whilt I am 
here. Will you ring for a glass ? Or shall 1 i " 

I rang, and Luella brought the tumbler, and 
the doctor prepared the medicine silently. He 
had not sat down, and 1 pushed a chair toward 
him ; he did not appear to see it. 



258 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Two teaspoonfiils once in four hours, if you 
please, Mrs. Herwin." His tone was quite pro- 
fessional, and the muscles of his fece had stif- 
fened ; Iperceived that he did not mean to stay- 
perhaps, God knows, that he did not dare. ... 
Then swiftly it seemed to me as if I could have 
gone up and sat at his feet and put my head on 
his knee — like Marion — and cried; and I 
thought how he would have put his hand on my 
head and comforted me — as he does the child. 
And I was not ashamed that I thought it; but I 
did not tell him my thoughts. I opened my 
lips to say: "Don't go. Doctor!" and I closed 
them. I should be glad to remember that I did 
not say it, only that I am afraid I said a thing less 
kind, more weak. For everything that I had 
ever read and heard about friendships that people 
may have — men and women, right women, 
good men— came crowding to my mind. Once 
I thought it impossible that I could experience 
friendship, or need it, after I married Dana : now, 
to-night, I remembered all that haughtiness of 
happiness and that bigotry of inexperience with 
a kind of scorn of myself, for I perceived that 
I am more pitiable, needing friendship, than 
I was happy, having love. My head swam 
a little, and Dr. Hazelton's face seemed to 
blur and recede from me like a countenance 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 259 

within a cloud, so exalted was the man's 
look. 

"Doctor!" I cried, "what is this? ... Is it 
friendship, Robert?" 

Then across his eyes tlierp passed th' sacred 
war which no woman, witnessing, could forget: 
for she would reverence the man and do him 
obeisanf (• in her soul forever, because his knew 
no reproach, is it had known no fear; and be- 
cause the affection with which he had honored 
her was a matter to be proud of, and nobler 
for, and better for, as long as she should live, 
or he. 

"Cull it friendship, child," said Robert, lot 
quite steadily. "It is a good word, safi: and 
strong, and it is respected of God and mea" 

" It is quite a true word, too," he added more 
distinctly — "for you, Marna." His eyes did 
not evade me, but met mine wistfiilly and 
straight; they were as remote and as mournful 
as the eyes of some higher being set to watch 
the sealed tomb of a lower life. He spoke 
more quickly: "We must be honest with our- 
selves in everything ... you and I. And very 
careful. I try to be I " 

" I know you do! I know you are!" I cried. 
"God bless you, Robert!" 

He held out his hand ; it was cold. I put 



'V 



26o CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

mine into it, trembling; for I felt afraid— but 
not of him. 

September the tbirtetnA. 
Who was it who wrote that "God bless you!" 
was equal to a kiss? Sterne, I think. But 
what could Sterne know of the holy war? 
the sacred victories? the high nature of a man 
like this? the soul of a desolate woman, saved 
from despair because she had been understood, 
and guarded, too? 

September the fifteenth. 
Where did I track that ballad about the 
skipper's daughter? 

" . . . • mm might nil to hell in your compuie." 
"Why not to Heaven?" quo' the. . . . 

It has doubled, and is hunting me down. 

September the twentieth. 
There is no letter from Dana. And it is our 
wedding^ay. What a freak of fete that a 
woman should try to forget her wedding-day! 
The doctor has not been over to-day at all. 

September the twenty^rst. 
This morning very early, at half-past eight, 
the doctor came. He walked in without ringing. 



CONFESSr 

and called me, in i 
the suirs. I ran i 
came tumbling afr< 
child gently, that t 
the library; but Jo 
the door, and then 1 
ing light frill upon 
** Dana is dead ! ' 
"No — no — no! 
this." 

He held out a 
more than mine. 1 
ing it, without sp 
extended his fingei 
the despatch : 

•• TV Dr. Hmtltn. 

"Sail Saturdays 
age round Cape for 
my wife. 

I could not see qu 
got to the Morris c 
Job jumped into m 
whining as he did si 
that still I could no 
except the fece of tl 
my dog; I think I 
any rate i " but I an 



NFESSIONS OF A WIFE 261 

1 me, in a low voice, firom the foot of 
I ran down, and Marion and Job 
bling after. The doctor detained the 
tly, that she should not follow us into 
'•, but Job slid in. Then Robert shut 
and then I saw the cold autumn mom- 
'uU upon my old friend's face, 
is dead ! " I cried. 

.' " he gasped. " It is only — 



no — « 



d out a cablegram; his hand shook 
mine. I read it, and folded it, hand- 
ithout speaking, to the doctor, who 
his fingers to take it back. This was 
ch: 

«z/Am. 

aturday San Francisco. Advised voy- 
Cape for health. Have written. Tell 
Herwin." 

Jt see quite clearly for a little, and I 
Morris chair and put my head back. 

;d into my lap and began to kiss me, 

1 he did so. It was so dark about me 
could not see any object in the room 
fece of the Yorkshire, and I clung to 

[ think I said : " Tou love me, Job, at 
but I am not sure. I did not think 




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262 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

about Marion, nor about any person. It was 
as if I were a girl again, and had only 
Job. I believe I said: "Father! I want my 
father!" but I cannot tell; and then I sup- 
pose the doctor caught me and lifted n;e, 
for I felt that I was slipping sidewise to the 
floor. 

. . . When my head cleared and the room 
had lightened, I was on the lounge. Mercibel 
was doing something to my clothes, and rubbing 
my feet; the doctor had my hands in his, and 
warmed them gently; there was brandy on the 
table, and his medicine-case. As I turned he 
drew my little girl between us, and put her in 
my arms. Marion began to babble: "Pity 
Popper!" Then my voice came to me, and 
broke upon me, overcoming me against my 
will. I am afraid I said: 

"Oh, pity Mommer, Marion! Pity Mommer!" 
No one spoke in answer to me. In the still- 
ness I heard the dog whining. They had put 
him down, and he crawled back upon the lounge 
and made his way to my neck, and clung there 
and kissed me with compassionate rapture— my 
truest and most helpless friend. 

September the txuenty-second 
I WRITE, that I may endure: for it helps me to 
do so — It always did ; I am thus created. To^lay 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 263 

the doctor suffered me to talk ot what has hap- 
pened, though he would not yesterday; but now 
I am much stronger, and stiller, tor I will not 
break under this broadside, nor will I be shamed 
by it to my own soul. 

" You have gained perceptibly since lasL even- 
ing," he began in his usual voice. " You are 
brave." 

" I am the veriest coward who ever was 
selected to stand under heavy fire," I protested. 
" The only thing is that I know it, and so don't 
run." 

" That is the way the best soldiers are made," 
replied the doctor, smiling sadly. 

" Run I will not — from this" I said. " It is 
a battle to the death now. There is one thing 
on which he has not counted — the roused pride 
of a tender woman. The powder was belated," 
I added, " and it is smokeless. Doctor ; but it 
will do some execution yet." Something in my 
voice seemed to wring his heart. 

" Marna I " he entreated me, " Mama, don't ! " 

"Robert," I demanded, "tell me the holy 
truth. Nothing less and nothing else will serve 
me now. . . . Has my husband deserted me?" 
He had now quite regained himself His 
averted profile did not betray him; it was gray 
and pinched, but it is often so. He turned his 
head and looked me nobly in the eye. 



264 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" I will not deceive you," he said. " It may 
be so. / do not knvw." 

"Believe the best," he added in his reasonably 
cheerful voice, " until your letter comes. There 
is to be a letter yet." 

I said : " Oh, is there ? " I had forgotten all 
about the letter. 

October the first. 
And once I was writing notes to ghosts — my 
mother, who ceased from me when I was a little 
girl, and pretty Ina, dead in her teens. There 
are no ghost letters on these pages now. Life 
has accepted my manuscript, and edited it 
sternly, drawing his dele-mark through all the 
fantasies. 

And yet, I think if I could see my fether for 
one moment — perhaps he would find a way to 
help me. He always did ; he was full to the brim 
of love-inventions. And if he came in at the 
door and said, "Now, Daughter — " I should 
expect the miracle. In the last few days I 
think I have prayed to my fether. 

If Dana should never come in at the door 
again — there is no letter yet. I have come to 
regard the door as an enemy, as something forced 
between us, and I have stolen down for several 
nights and drawn the bolts, and slept with the 
house unlocked. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 265 

October the third. 
The letter has come. I suppose it is what I 
should expect, and yet I cannot say that it is. 
He sets forth the fact that he has not been well, 
and that the only doctor he could get hold of 
in that blanked country who seems to possess 
a dose of sense ordered the sea-voyage. He 
takes a coasting steamer, by name the Marion. 
He will cable from San Francisco, and I am to 
write to the hotel whose name he gives me. He 
is sorry to disappoint me, and I shall hear from 
him as often as possible. He cannot yet set a 
date for his return, but hopes that it will not be 
long delayed. He sends his love to the baby, 
and his regards to the doctor, to whom I am to 
express my husband's warmest gratitude for the 
faithful care which has been given to the family. 
The letter reads like a copy-book with broken 
sentences; there are several such, and the whole 
thing is a relu .it medley. There is not a 
genuine word in it from beginning to end. He 
adds that he is glad to leave a country where 
there are two thousand species of insects and 
where the spiders are as large as — something that 
I could not make out. 

Later. 
A SCRAP from Dana's letter fell when I opened 
the envelope, — I suppose I was confused and 



266 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

excited -and it wavered away and dropped 
somewhere. Job has just found it and brought 
It to me wagging joyously. When I read the 
scrap, I kissed Job and blessed him, for this 

»S It ' 



rZ^'^'JZ '"" ^ ''^'" °^^ eirl, Marna. For 
Gods sake, th.nk as well of me as you can." 

, October the fourth. 

"Is this all?" he asked. 

"There is a postscript," I admitted. "I do not 
know whether to show it to you or not - 
"Have you written?" he persisted. 
" No." 

"Cabled?" 

" No." 

"Are n't you going to do either? or both?" 
' 1 have not made up my mind " 

thoritid;"''''p''""'p^'"''^^^p'''^'^-- 

I unfastened it from this page and showed it 
to h,m, and p.nned it back again in its place. 
Neuher of us spoke. The doctor went to the 
wmdow m that way he has, and stood with his 
hands m his pockets, looking out-a sturdy 



)ed 
;ht 
:he 

[lis 



or 



at 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 267 

figure, all man, from his strong head to his firm 
foot. I wondered that I had ever called him 
too short," and that I used to think him plain 
You stand between me and despair." I 
thought. But the thing I said was: 
"Robert, what shall I do?" 
"Give me time," he answered patiently; "I 
must thmk." He left me without looking at 
me. =" 

-, , October the fifth. 

To-DAY he came again, and began at once : 
'Mrs. Herwin, I have come to say that I do 

not know how to advise you. This situation 
has passed beyond me. It has passed from the 
ordmary to the extraordinary perplexity. I am 
^raid. ... I am sorry to seem to fail you!" 
We broke suddenly. 

.k"7''"? '' "" P°'"^'" ^^ ^"^"'^'1 °". "^'here the 
third soul cannot trespass. Your tragedy has 
reached that point. It may not remain there • it 
may take on new phases . . . something where 
I can be ot use again. If I can -you know 
you will not have to ask." 

I said .^.mething - 1 don't know what — half 

IbTshed '' ''"' *"' '^"^^ '^''"' ^^°'^ ^ ^""^ 

"Just now I think only your own heart can 

counsel you. Follow it. I can give you no 



268 CO^FESSIONS OF A WIFE 

other advice to-day. When I have considered 
the matter further I may have more to say. For 
the present, do not depend upon my judgment, 
but upon your own instincts." 

As he moved to leave me, a shaft of sunlight 
which his figure had interrupted fell across the 
hair of my little daughter, who, running in, had 
sprung upon me and at that moment laid her 
face upon my lap. I put out my hand to smooth 
her curls, — her father's curls, — and the ruby on 
my finger received the light deep to the core of 
the splendor. 

" It is the heart rf the wife," I thought. 

Yet at that moment — so perplexed am I, 
so torn and troubled — it seemed to me that if the 
doctor left me so I should perish of my bewil- 
dered desolation. And I did utter these weak 
and bitter words: 

" I am sorry to have been so troublesome to 
you." 

He wheeled as if I had smitten him. 

" I think, Mrs. Herwin, I have deserved to be 
better understood by you than that." 

Then indeed I followed the counsel of my 
heart, for it urged me, and I cried out : 

" Forgive me, Robert I ... I am so wretched ! 
... I have nobody but you I . . ." 

I got up to put Marion out of the room, for 
it was no sight for her, to see her mother weep- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 269 

ing — and I could not havt helped it if I hau 
been slain for it. I shut the door, and put my 
head on the top of the Morris chair, and, so 
standing, I cried and cried. 

And then I heard from between the teeth of 
my old friend these five half-strangled words: 

" Good God ! How mild he ? " 

I do not think he knew I heard them, and I 
hope he did not. I motioned him to leave 
me, and he did so instantly. 1 did not see his 
fece, for I did not lift my own. 



October the tenth. 
There have been burglars about us lately, and 
the neighborhood is uneasy. I wonder why I 
am not ? A burglar is such a small trouble ! I 
have scarcely seen the doctor for almost a week, 
and although I have been really ill with I don't 
know what, I have not summoned him. To- 
day Mercibel came over, and ran back, and sent 
him immediately. He was so entirely himself 
that he put me at my ease at once. Neither of 
us alluded to the circumstances of his last call. 
He prepared his powders, gave me some quiet 
professional advice, and rose to go. Then, quite 
naturally, as he has been in the habit of speak- 
ing, he observed : 

" Have you cabled ? " 

"No." 



--10 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Written ? " 

"No, Doctor." 

"Are you going to?" 

"I have not made up n>y n.ind. Of course 
he^ at sea now. Is there any hurry?" 

He did not reply. 
"If this is desertion—" I began 
^^I^Andifit is notV" interrupted Che doctor. 

"Robert," I said, ",f y„u knew anything 
about Dana that I did n't-.should you tellC?? 
rerhaps not." 

know-"^'' "'""'^'^'^ '"''""*' ''"I -ght to 

Ro'be^t^ILT"^"'"'^"^''"^'^-^^" 

and^ol7at^':^'"^•"^^'^'''^''»''^''^-' 
"You may not have all the perplexity," he 
sa.d gently. "I am tryingtodc .he best /^an." 
If the worst were true, if he means- this " 
I insisted "would you have me pursue him?" 
A terr,ble gleam flickered in Robert's eves 
but his pale lij.s were locked. ' 

"And if the worst were not true — if there 
S.nTl"'''''"' ""^"'''"e f^^' I do not un- 
" Consider this possible," he interrupted, more 



B 



CONFESSIONS OF A VVIFK 271 

imptHiously than he is apl to speak ; " in makin.' 
your decision, allow fi,r such a margin. . . h 
I hew, I should be able to counsel vou I ,•■„,. 
not advise you on a working hypotl,. sis. As 
the thing stands at this crisis, I would rather 

trust your heart than my head." 

"Child," he added, "remember that I am not 

-- unw.lhng to Ho — anything. I have a goo.l 

deal to consi<ler ... not for myself ... but 

for you. Mama." 

Then he fcll upon the phrase that he had used 
before ; 

"We must do — God help us I— the test 
we can." 

Nn-ember the tenth. 
Where is that cataract which spends itself be- 
fore It becomes spray and fiills, so great the height 
irom which it leaps? Nothing but mist reaches 
thv^ ground. 

>Vhar shall a woman do with the current of a 
feeing fixed at too far a height, and dashing over 
to Its own destruction in too deep a gulf? My 
love is a apent cataract, asted in mid-air. I ast 
n.ght I waked suddenly and found myself 
saying: "I wish I had never seen my hus- 
band's c." I have never said th?t before 
It IS as It I had blasphemed for the h.st time 
in my life. I quiver with it yet. When I 



272 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

slept again, I waked again, and that time I was 
saying : 

Oh, eich man killi the thing he lovei j . . . 
The brive m«n does it with « iword. 
The cowarl with a Jtiu. 

I have not heard from Dana. The doctor 
asked me two weeks ago if I had written, and I 
said: "Only that once." I kept a copy of the 
letter, as I have — I wonder why — of several 
letters (but not all) that I have written him 
since he went to South America. 

SENT 

"My dear Dan\: I try to write, as you asked, 
but my pen is dumb. What would you • iv 
me say? If a ' man would kill the thing he 
loves,' he smites to slay, he does not torture. 
If you would tear the tie between us— be a man 
and tell me so. There is. I think, a circle of fate 
where a woman's love will parley with neglect 
no more. Mine has reached that invisible cir- 
cumference. It used to be eternal growth and 
motion, like 'he ripples of the ether, when a 
sacred word has been spoken, widening on and 
out forever. Now. everywhere that I turn I 
mett the boundary; and I must say that I am 
afraid to measure it, lest I sliould perceive that 



as 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 273 

it is narrowing. Are you playing with your own 
sou! or with my tenderness Y Be candid with 
me, for your own sake, for the chad's, and for 
ni'ne- Marna. 

"P.S. Dana! Dana! You ask me to 
think the best I can of y< Then tell me what 
to think, I pray you, Deai. Are you sick? I 
would come to you anywhere, anyhow — and, 
oh, I would cherish you still. Are you in any 
trouble? I would share it to the utter lost pang. 
Have you done anything wrong, Dan I would 
be the first to forgive it, to forget it. I would 
help you to put it behind you, to bear the con- 
sequences, no matter what they are or might 

become. Trust me, Dana. Confide in me 

even now. Tell me the worst, and I will be- 
lieve the best. Share with me your trouble — 
I don't care what it is — even \*' it is the trouble 
of ceasing to love me. Let us meet that misery 
together as once we met love together, and help 
each other to bear it as best we can, because we 
chose each other, and you did love me, and I 
am Your Wife." 

There has been no answer to this letter. The 
spray of the cataract turns sleet, and I can im- 
agine that in time there might a glacier form in 
the gulf below. 



274 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 
I can sec that the doctor grows anxious H. 

" person, — J wince at every noinf nf K. 
man contart «„» T »-»cijr point ot hu- 

an contact,— yet I cannot show it. I am like 

that even he is affected by the posldon T"''' 
and that, in fact I nar, /u P°"t'on I am m, 

life anywhere R„k"^' "° ""'"''^l ^"W o" 
-.a/wnere. Kobert is very carefiil tu 

Knight of the Sacred Circle m,7 ^'"^ 

takes. Yet I feel frnm f "° ^"^'^ ""'^ 

bears uponli! ct intny^Vrnayf^ ""^ '^^^ 
a desolate woman is apt to lose her s '''"^^■~ 

-.iendj-'^r^;rrarhr^^^^^^ 

B.esThtt^Te:-t^,^'-t^^- «od 
I am not afraid or learned o ay s rf' ^^ 

p.er. having my friendship, than he could £ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 275 

having the love of any gladder, freer woman in 
the world. 

I wish that I could tell him so. 

Ncrvember the twelfth. 
He came to^ay, and I tried to tell him ; it 
seemed to me as if I must— as if I owed so g^eat 
a debt to his chivalry, and his pure and high 
affection, that the least I could do was to express 
as much as that to him. Why, I could say it 
before all the world ! But he forbade me by a 
gentle motion of the hand. 

"Hush, Marna. You need not explain it. 
I understand." 

"It is true," he added, as if he had really un- 
derstood the very words upon which he sealed 
m/ lips. "I do feel in that way. And I am 
happier — as it is — than I could be . . ." 

"You need not explain, either," I interrupted, 
smiling. " I, too, can understand." 

We shook hands and parted quietly. His 
presence remains for a long while after he has 
visibly left me. I read the other day : 

It is «sy to throw off a h.nd of flesh, but not the clup 
or a human soul. 

Everything comes to the spirit at last, I find. 



276 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

Might there be some subtle and sacred advan- 
tage reserved for that which begins with the 
spirit and does not descend ? 

Love is like God, omnipotent, immutable, in- 
scrutable, and they that worship it must worship 
It in spirit and in truth. 

Next to God, the best thing is a true-hearted 
and high-minded friend. 

Nmiember the fifteenth. 
Marion was taken suddenly last night with one 
of her croupy throats (she is entirely relieved 
to-day), and Ellen telephoned for the doctor 
It was half-past two. He got over on the wings 
of the wind, and lavished himself upon the baby 
for an hour; nor did he speak to me at all, ex- 
cept to give me professional orders. When the 
child was relieved, he asked me to step down- 
stairs tor a moment. We stood together in the 
hall. There was no light except from the compass- 
candle, which I had carried down ; it had a een- 
tle flame. ^ 

" I found the front door unlocked," he began 
with abrupt severity. "You had sent Ellen to 
draw the bolts for me, I presume ? " 

"No, Doctor." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 277 

" Was it intenticnally unlocked ? " 

" Yes, Doctor." 

"Why?" 

" I cannot explain why. I . . . feel happier 
so." 

" Since when ? " 

" Oh, for quite a while, I think. It seems as 
if I could not lock it. I tried." 

" This has been so since your husband cabled 
last?" 

" Yes, Robert." 

" Don't you know that it is positively unsafe 
— for yourself, your family? You must know 
that the autumn burglaries in the suburbs have 
been worse this year. You are as liable to have 
trouble as any one else, and you are — quite 
unprotected." 

"We sleep with all our bedrooms bolted. 
Doctor — thoroughly." 

" You should sleep with your front door 
locked and bolted after this." 

I made no reply. 

" Will you do so, Mrs. Herwin ? " 

" No, Dr. Hazelton." 

" Why not, Marna ? " 

" I cannot bolt that door, Robert." 

" Very well," said the doctor ; " I shall send 
over a man to sleep here after this — one of my 



278 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

nurses I can spare Eliot, just now, perfectly 
well; he .s on day duty, and likely to be He il 
entirely trustworthy, and too well trained tfa sk 
for reasons why. You will make up the 
-a-bed for him in the library, if you Li; 
oclocT." ^'""•^ °"^ ^°-'"°-- -ght atTe;- 

to mf tnU^^'TV'"'"'^' " '^'^ "« °«=cur 

;e.^h:^^-r'^--^ 

c=etdML?s?ar-r ""' '^^ ^^ - 

as 'lT„''V""''^-' ^° "''^°"' "*" I thought 
as I groped up-stairs in the dark. ^ 

Eliot ^™ ^oveml>er the sixteenth. 

*;tioT came over at ten o'clock last night and 
d.appeared from public life in the librfry sS- 
bed. I sl,d down and unbolted the front door 
as usual, and slept as I have not done for weS 
- not hstenrng. nor quivering. Eliot is so Sed 
to watchmg that he would stir at any sound 

To-n.v.K A . ^'^'mber the seventeenth. 

To-day the doctor found me grappling with the 
shipping news_a feeble self-delu'- .^ I nete^ 
knew there was any before, and I might as we 
be turned afloat on d,e stock-market. He it 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 279 

the paper from my hand. In his eyes I saw un- 
fathomable compassion. 

" I will attend to all that," he said. 

" If there should be any wreck ? " I whispered. 

" There is no wreck," answered Robert. " The 
Marion has arrived in port quite safely." 

" How long have you known this V " I asked, 
when my head ceased whirling. 

" About two weeks." 

" Why did you not tell me ? " 

" Would it have done any good ? been any 
easier ? I tried to choose the lesser pang for you." 

There was nothing t.. be said. I felt that the 
rnisery in my eyes leaned upon the chivalry in 
his too utterly, too heavily. I turned my face 
away. 

November the twentieth. 
Tolstoi says that people should marry in the 
same way as they die— "only when they cannot 
do otherwise." 

In the main condition of civilized human hap- 
piness, is there a terrible structural fault? Is 
the flaw in the institutio:i of mamage itself? 
Or is it in the individual ? 

Why did Dana find it impossible to be happy 
on the terms of married lite ? Other men are. 
. . .But are they ? Is society dancing under 
a white satin mask — the sob or the grimace 






280 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

beneath ? Js my lot only „,ore crudely or vul- 
garly expressed than others selected from the 
Dan? ^^P;"*^"— <=^ instead of a satire? 
ward m ^r'^f' ""'^' '^"^'y ^'^"■ 
the madness had gone? Must a man cease to 

ttait? Or Dana's tra.t? Am I meeting the 
personal m.sery? or the fate of my sex? Why 
when I endured so much, could he bear so 

IrunclaTpt^'^""^^'^"'""'^^'^'""^'-'' 
Once I was a proud girl. Plainly I should 
never have become a loving wife. That was a 
rmstranslation of nature. It was the Descent of 
Woman. If th.s which has befellen me .; Man 
not Dana, then some woman of us should lift 
her vo,ce and warn the women of the world 
what woe awaits them in the subterfuge of love 
Now I remember my dream-how I^at in the 
amphitheater and saw myself and Dana on the 
stage and blamed myself for the excess vepa„ 
that I played in my tragedy, and the house £e 

sard. You are ours, and of us, forever"; and 
I cned out upon them : « The., womanhood and 
manhood are at civil war ! " 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 281 

Why does a woman trust herself to love or 
to her lover ? Friendship is the safer as it is 
the saner thing. 

If it is Man, not Dana — ^hat then, I say? 
It is conceivable that the time might come when 
the Princess in the great Medley of Life should 
make no feint of battle,— to be beaten, poor girl, 
by all the military laws,— but in some later] 
wiser day should gather her forces, and order her 
heralds, and proclaim the evolution of her will : 
" We give you all that history has taught us you 
can be trusted with ~ our friendship, sirs. For 
the rest, we do reserve ourselves." 

There is no word from Dana, yet, of any kind. 
Every one lias ceased to speak to me about my 
husband. 

Nffuember the twenty-fourth. 
Last night a strange thing happened. It was 
pretty late, as much as half-past eleven, and Eliot 
had come in and was asleep (or he sayi he was) in 
the sofa-bed. I had not slept at all. The tele- 
phone called sharply — I think it was twenty- 
five minutes to twelve, for the compass-candle 
showed my watch as I sprang. I got into my 
old ruby negligee and ran. Eliot, in his nurse's 
dressing-gown, stood tall and lank in the hall. 
He had the receiver at his ear. As I flew down 
the stairs he was saying : 



282 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"26—6? Yes, this is 26—6." 

"Mrs. Herwin's? Yes Th: • », 
win's house. Yes. she is I'r h '" ^"- """ 

call her." "^ *'»«"'« home _ yes. I ,vill 



^.;' Yes; Mrs. Herwin is coming. Hold the 

door. iL; '^"^^"•^"'^^'hinkheshutthe 

;: Who wishes Mrs. Herwin?" 
mere was no renlv r 

tion, more loudly and quite .r^f'^ "'^ '^"'^^ 
-as no answer. 7n aLdt "''= '""''"^ 
-g the Central peremp oi°' "Cn" .^"S*^' ' 
ator, stupid with sleep was Lr 5 ^^ °P"* 
summons in the liXj "^ '° ^''^^ ^^e 
" You C ^ ^^ P"'°"='l offense. 
Jfou ve cut me off!" I cried "n 
my message." ^'^e me 

He said r a:;"'l';;\-"^'i,f-tionab,e. 
^vhen she cried. actionable language 

"Please give me my messafre". i ', . . 
"It may be verv ,V,,„ "message. I pleaded. 

message Oh I ^""'"^ ^ '""^ ^ave diat 
age. Oh, -^o give me my message!" 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 283 

"Great Scott ! " said the night operator. The 

wildly. As I stood waiting, the noise deepened • 
■t was as .f the electric forces pitted theleTves' 
agamst me that I should not have the ZZZ 
I^^threw the whole power of r.y voice upS 

"Who wants Mrs. Herwin? Here she is 
/ am here," I repeated clearly. 

Faint, far. infinitely far, jarred and jagged like 
:;.? — gfrom a falling star, it see'nSto ^ 
as fa vo.ce replied. But what it said I couTd 
not hear-I do not know. The rage of the wires 
.ncreased. I called till I was spent. The d c 
tr.c protest, as if hurled fron, a' mighty throlt, 
c^rnl'"-" ' ""• '' "^^ -- infpos'siW o 
The cold drops started upon me-I do not 
nZS ' -^''-' ^ ^'"^ of s..per! 

stejpedout:^^ ''"^ "P^"^'^ ^^' ^'^ -- 

denlv*""" rr^''.^"- """""'" '=«'d Eliot, sud- 
denly. It .s of no use. I will call the doctor." 

work liT'': 'r'^''^'-' "^''^ -■- -n't 
work. Listen to that roar I Horrible!" I put 
the receiver to his ear. ^ 

"It does sound ugiy," admitted Eliot. He 



i84 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

..Th?r '"'\"' ^'^" ^ ''"^ peremptorily. 

There .s nothing m the world that the doctor 
car, do. Why should you rouse that tired man ? 
1 ell nim in the morning." 

"I am not your patient," I maintained, when 

the nurse hesitated; "I am your hostess. Go 
back to bed, Mr. Elio ." 

With no more words, he went. I crawled up- 
stairs, and lay staring till dawn. The white ele^ 
ric I'ght of the street-lamp that I have always 
loved, and Dana used to like, flooded the lonely 
room. The tc: .phone wires raved on the roof 

them '' ^"'^ **" ''^"'''" '"^'''^"'y J°'"«^ 

Nvuember the tu:entr4fth. 
The doctor was disturbed by the telephon'e story, 
but he would not discuss it with me. He and 
Ehot have been in some sort of consultation, and 
•t is mj' opinion that Robert went in person to 
the exchange to-day. It did not occur to me to 
do as much -I am so used to the doctor's 
tfiinking of everything. 

"Have you found out where the message 
came from ? " I asked him suddenly 

He shook his head. I was so sure, however, 
he had heard something, that I insisted • 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 285 

"What was it, Robert?" 

"It was a longKlistance call," he said. 

There was no repetition of the call last night. 

f . , November the txenty-seventb 

Last n.ght at half-past twelve - 1 had not Xpt 
but was ly.ng in ^y „,d ^j ^^^^ ^„ ^ ^P^ 

a7inT.r-*'''''P^°--'''^»^--^ 

This time I was in advance of Eliot; in fact. 

the nu«e seemed to have slept through the rin^ 

-g of the call-bell, at which I was su^pr Ld h^e 

distant operator asked: ""ore. a 

"Is this 26 — 6?" 
"This is 26 — 6." 
"Mrs. Herwin's house?" 
" It is Mrs. Herwin's house." 
" I wish to speak with Mrs. Herwin " 
" I am Mrs. Herwin." 

A clumsy silence intervened. Then I heard 
the distant operator say : 

"Here 's your party. Why don't you - .?" 

soul ' ""'" '""'''^ ""•="^'* ^" '"'^^ ' "«te 



286 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"Who wants Mrs. Herwin? Ob, who are 
you?" I cried. 

The unsuccessful articulation Struggled and 
fell feebly from the wire. The distant operator 
•^Tok offense. ' 

" Why don't you talk, now you 've got your 
part;-? You 've got no more voice than a 
ghost. Speak up, man, in Heaven's name! 
Can't ? . . . Mrs. Herwin, the party can't talk. 
He can't be heard. And he won't talk through 

me. He seems to be an obstinate party 

he — " 

The distant operator's voice died down. I 
called, I rang, I threatened, I pleaded. The 
message was cut off as utterly as the voices of 
the dead. 

The receiver shook so in my hand that I 
could not hang it up, and while I was '. ;mbling 
to lo so I felt it taken from m I said : • Thank 
you, Eliot." But it was not Eliot. Ashen and 
stifj the doctor's fece regarded mine. 

" Am I too late ? " he asked hoarsely. " Eliot 
did as well as he could. It took time. Let me 
come, Mrs. Herwin." 

As I stepped aside for him to take my place 
at the telephone, I perceived the impassive fiice 
of the nurse ; he was shutting the library door 
to go back to his sofe-bed. What orders had 




I.IT ME COME, M«5. hHWIN/ 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 287 

he received and (I must say admirably) exe- 
cuted ? 

Ttf leave me to ansvier the call-bell? To slip 
out of the window and summon the doctor ? 

Peremptorily, in the professional tone, this 
order came : 

"Mrs. Herwin, go into the parlor and lie 
down on the sofa till I call you." 

I obeyed. The doctor stood at the telephone 
a long time. Fragments of what he was saying 
fell, but I did not try to gather them. I knew 
everything would be right, everything would be 
done, now that he was there. Presently he hung 
up the receiver and came into the dark room; 
he had the compass-candle in his hand. 

" I have learned where the call came from," 
he said in a matter-of-fact tone — as if it were 
hardly worth speaking of 

I sprang. 

"From a town in Minnesota," proceeded 
Robert, quietly. " The name is Healer — one 
of those queer Western names.". 

I tried to speak, but I do not think I suc- 
ceeded. I believe I meant to ask if he thought 
it were a real town, and my dry lips stupidly 
struggled with the words : " I never heard of such 
a place " — as if that fact bore upon the case at all. 

"I happen to have some professional know- 



288 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

ledge of the village," observed the doctor, 
" though that does n't amount to much. It is 
near St. Paul — this side. St. Paul is about as 
far as the telephone goes." 

Then I cried out upon him : 

"Oh, is there no way? Can't you find out 
anj'thing more ? " 

" I have done my best," sai.J Robert, patiently. 



^:t 



VII 



December the first. 

1'HERE have been no more telephonic mys- 
teries; the call-bell hangs mute all night. 
I think Eliot has been ordered to sleep with his 
door open. Only the banshee parts her lips, and 
there are times when she wails from bedtime till 
breakfast; usually this happens with a west wind. 
The doctor is absorbed, and the horizontal lines 
of anxiety in his forehead are heavily carved. I 
cannot make out what he is thinking, for I am 
never told unless he chooses to have me know, 
while yet, oddly enough, I do not feel at all 
hurt if he does not tell. It was, in fact, three 
days after the last midnight summons before I 
knew that he had* succeeded in tracing the first 
telephone call to its source. The company, it 
seems, had put every agency at his disposal, and 
had hunted down this last message. Twelve hun- 
dred miles between it and me ! It had started 
from one of the uttermost stations where the blue 
bell hangs ; beyond which there is no practicable 
61 289 



290 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

conversation between the West and the East I 
asked the name of the place. 
^ "This message came," replied the doctor, 
fron, a pay-station in a drug-store. The name 
was Fooltiss — a queer one, was n't it? The 

number was 207 3." 

He did not look at me as he dwelt on these 
unnecessary details. 
" And the town ? " 
" Omaha." 

"He may be dying!" I cried. 
Robert shook his head. 

"Sick? In trouble? In need? Wandering 
from place to place - homeless ! He has gone 
back, farther West, has n't he ? " 
The doctor did not answer. 
"Or he may be — thoughtless. He used so 
often to say, ' Oh, I did n't mean anything ' He 
may not mean anything by this. Or it may not 
be he at all." ' 

" Any of these things is pojsible." 
"He ought to come home to his wife'" I 
sa.d below my breath. I have never spoken so 
before, not even to Robert. But there is some- 
thing, as I told him once, in th- roused pride of 
a tender woman with which a man must reckon 
first or last. Mine battles with my tenderness 
and plays victor with me now, at this bewil- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 291 

dered time— of all times, that when I should 
have expected myself to melt with love and 
longing. I feel but little longing for my hus- 
band, and how much love I will not, must not, 
dare not, ask myself The strongest tie between 
the married is the love of the wife ; I am con- 
vinced that more marriages are saved from de- 
struction by this than by any other fact in life. 
If my love for Dana is perishing — whose fault 
is that ? How has he flung from him the trea- 
sure that he had? J who gave him my utter- 
most, I who made a subject of my sovereign 
soul before his lightest whim, I who bent my 
will bi.forc his, as if one melted a steel blade in a 
mighty fire and folded it back upon itself, lay- 
ing it white and gleaming at his feet, — I, 
Wilderness Girl made Wife, Pride beaten into 
Love, — how, God forgive him, has he treated 
me? . . . 

" He ought to come home to his wife I " I re- 
peated aloud. It vas as if I were willing the 
whole world should know what i said. Then ! 
heard my old friend speaking ; his voice seemed 
to come from a great distance. 

" Be patient. Mama. Be gentle. Believe the 
best. Wait a little. There may be reasons — " 

He turned away from me, h:.lted, came back, 
and looked at n.e with wretched, noble eyes. 



292 CONFESSIONS OF \ WIFE 

" Love him as long as you can," lie said gen- 
tly. " Try for a while longer. It is worth . . . 
trying . . . suffering ... to save a married love." 

Before I could answer, he had shut the door 
and gone. I went up and took hold of the knob, 
and I am not ashamed to write what I did. I 
went up and bent my face and put my cheek 
to the door, where his hand had touched it. 

"You are the best man I ever knew," I 
thought. 

Later. 
I CANNOT sleep. I have been thinking of the 
evening when Robert asked me to marry him. 
It was the first winter that Dana was reading to 
Father. Th -y were in the library, and Robert and 
I were in the drawing-room ; and I had on a rose- 
pink dress with white chiffon, and the slippers 
matched, and Robert liked the dress. 

To him I said : " I am fond of you, Robert, 
but I do not love you. I could never love you 
so as to marry you. I do not want to be any- 
body's wife." In my own mind I said : " You 
are too short. And you are very plain. And 
you are very old — as much as thirty." 



December the second. 
Eliot does not come any more; I don't know 
why. He has been suddenly taken away and 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



293 



put on duty elsewhere. Tlie doctor suggested 
another nurse — I think his name was Peterkin; 
but I objected to Peterkin. 

" Then," be observed, " you will lock the 
front door ? " 

I shook my head. Now why, I wonder, did I 
shake my head? Why, when I feel so about 
Dana, why, when Dana has treated me so, why 
do I not bolt the door ? 

I cannot perplex the doctor worse than I puz- 
zle myself. He has sent our old James over to 
stay nights here till Eliot is at liberty again. 
James is quite shocked at sleeping in the library. 
He never did such a thing in the governor's 
house. But he calls me Miss Mama, and there 's 
some comfort in that. I wonder what has be- 
come of Eliot ? 

There have been no more telephone calls, 
which is convenient, for I am sure the last 
trumpet would have its hands full if it tried to 
wake up James. He used to sleep in the coach- 
house, with four horses trampling beneath. 

So I listen for the telephone. I do not sleep 
much. 

December the tenth. 
The telephone continues dumb. I do not be- 
lieve those calls were from anybody in par- 
ticular at all ; some operator's blunder, most 



294 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

likely, as I told the doctor. The doctor made 
no answer. 

In fact, nothing has happened, and everything 
has happened, for Robert has gone away on a 
vacation. He has had no vacation since he 
started the hospital; all summer he stood by his 
post, when other men were off. I suppose he 
does need it. I should not have believed that I 
would miss the doctor so. 



It is not a frequented part of the river. 

December the thirteenth. 
Marion has a cold, and we have had to send for 
Dr. Packard. I don't think he understands the 
child in the least. I wish Robert would come 
back. I am lost in a hieroglyph. I thought I 
knew what solitude was; now I perceive that I 
never had the key to the cipher. I am so lonely 
that I am frightened. If there were a spot in 
the world where I could go and hurl myself into 
space, I think I should do it. I used to have 
fancies about letting myself out of a window in 
easterly storms when I was a girl and comfort- 
able. Now that I am a wife and wretched, a 
window seems a small outlet. I want something 
vast and daring — a desperate leap into a fathom- 
less fate. What could be worse than to go on 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 295 

tamely where and as I am? Who will teach 
me how to escape myself? What philosophy 
is there for a woman whose whole being has 
been turned back upon itself, a mighty current 
dammed, and toppling — forbidden in the essence 
of her nature ? What shall be done for an un- 
dervalued tenderness? What can friendship 
offer to a deserted wife ? 

The doctor does not write to me. I suppose, 
in fact, he is under no obligation to do so. 



December the fourteenth. 
I HAVE had a note from the doctor. It was 
mailed on the cars somewhere, — I could not make 
out where, — and it was so hurriedly written that 
he forgot to date it. He writes most kindly, 
most thoughtfully. He begs me to be quiet 
and brave, not to give up either hope or any- 
thing else. He is sorry to have to leave me 
just at this trying time ; he will not be gone a 
day longer than is really necessary, — he reminds 
me with a touching gentleness that he really 
needed the vacation, for he is pretty tired, — and 
he will wri:c me when he can. If I have any 
more telephone messages, I am to repeat them 
to him, in care of the Central Exchange both in 
New York and in Chicago, as his movements 
are a little uncertain, and he would not wish to 



296 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

be beyond my reach in any emergency. And I 
am not to feel that he has forgotten my difficul- 
ties for an hour, but that he is doing the best he 
can for all concerned. He signs the letter : 

"Faithfully your friend, and Dana's, 

" Robert Hazelton." 

Oh, God bless him, God bless him I And I 
don't care if that /'s "equal to a ki^s." Of such 
is the tenderness that the whole wide world 
might see and be the better for. The grateful 
affection of an unhappy woman, indebted above 
measure to a good, unselfish man, is not a thing 
to feel ashamed of or to hide. 



December the fifteenth. 
This evening the telephone called again. It 
was quite early, hardly nine o'clock, and James 
had not come in. Mercibel had been over, but 
did not stay; it was her evening off duty, and 
she was on her way to see her children; they 
live with their grandmother. If I had to board 
Mririon with relatives, and work for my living 
and hers, I wonder should I be rore, or less, 
unhappy? 

" Sorrow has her elect," Mercibel says. The 
relativity of trouble is a mystery of which I am 
just beginning to be aware. The doctor has a 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 297 

paralyzed patient who says her i(l«al of human 
happiness is to be able to walk across the room 
and get her own tooth-brush. (H<- is curing the 
patient.) 

My telephone call was from the doctor. It 
seemed to be a long-distance call, but I could 
hear his voice quite readily and perfectly — his 
dear voice. Oh, I will be honest with my own 
soul ! It is a dear voice to me ; there is not a 
cadence of its quietness and str.ngth which does 
not hold just so much self-lorgetting. nt; -remem- 
bering melody. There are certain tones at which 
my spirits rise like leaves in a strong wind, and 
seek the skies — my poor, disordered, disheart- 
ened spirits — as if they were birds. There are 
certain others before which every nerve in my soul 
and body calms and rests. The voice is the man, 
and Robert's has stood between me and despair 
(I believe I have said this before, at some time; 
whether I have or not, 1 think it all the 
time) — his voice has stood between me and 
despair so long that I cannot help loving it. 
Why need I « 

He did not say very much by the telephone ; 
only to ask if I kept well, and Marion, and 
if I had heard any news that I wished him to 
know. 

" Do not feel that you are forgotten," he said. 



298 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" I shall not be beyond reach of helping you in 
any emergency." «- b / 

"Have courage," he added. "Be hopeful. 
Better things than you fear may be possible. I 
am telephoning you to-night to say this. Keep 
w^ll. Be quiet. Be strong. Be brave." 

His resonant voice reverberates in my ears 
y«, like a rich Belgian bell. As he -.hit the 
wire off, he said comfortably: 

"Expect me home in three or four days." 
He forgot to tell me where he was telephoning 
from. '^ " 

December the sixteenth. 
ToDAV the doctor called again from he 
knows where. There is a snow-storm, and the 
wires are pneumonic, and roar wildly. I could 
scarcely make out what he was trying to say, 
and we had to give the message up. If I under- 
stood at all correctly, Robert said a singular thing: 
"'Pray for one you lave" 

No man ever asked me to pray for anything 
before; I suppose it never occurred to any per- 
son that I could be a praying woman. 

Poor little "sumptuous pagan "! how should 
she be « The gods die with the joys, I think ; 
Christianity must be the religion of patience, of 
denial ; and I am not patient. 

Pray for one I love? . . . Suppose I tried ? 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 299 

Later. 
I HAVi tried. I do not know how. I think I 
shall educate my daughter in what George Sand 
calls " la science de Dieu " ; for she shall not 
come to eight-and-twenty years with an uncuiti* 
vated spiritual nature ^ not so ignorant a per- 
son as I. 

An hour later. 
Pray for one I love? . . . Then for whom 
shall I pray? Pagan beauty stole my heart and 
toyed with it, and cast it petulantly down. Pa- 
tient duty gathered the bruised thing, and cher- 
ished it, and guarded it gently, from itself and 
from its guardian. How should a woman pray? 
Prayer, I think, must be as honest as love, or 
joy, or anguish ; it is one of the elemental emo- 
tions; it cannot confuse anything, or beguile 
God. 

Sudden expressions of my husband's face 
start out upon the paper where I write, like pic- 
tures which my pen traces against its will. 
Words that he has spoken — scenes that I would 
perish to forget — leap upon me. All the an- 
guish of this deserted year surges pounding 
through my arteries ; I can understand how peo- 
ple die of heartbreak in one great, significant 
moment of self-revelation. 

Cruelty flung me into the hands of kindness ; 



1 



i] 



300 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

neglect left me to devotion ; coldness hurled me 
at the feet of tenderness, a disregarded, under- 
valued woman; selfishness tossed me— where? 
Into what? Upon the truest heart, against the 
noblest nature, that I ever knew. 

Suppose I knelt and tried to pray— I could 
only repeat the Morning Lesson or some of the 
Collects. Perhaps if I wrote a prayer it would 
be the most genuine thing possible— to me. I 
found in Father's Greek Testament yesterday 
this, copied in his own hand, and called " The 
Prayer of Fcnelon": 

Lord, take my heart, for I cannot give it to Thee. And 
when Thou hast it, keep it, for I would not take it from 
Thee. And save me in spite of myself, for Christ's sake. 
Amen. 

December the seventeenth. 
Thou great God ! Invisible! Almighty! lam 
not a religious woman, and I do not know how 
to express myself, but I will not soil my soul by 
one uncandid word. Be Thou to me the utter 
Truth. Then shall my heart utter it, and give 
Thee back Thyself 

I am a woman unhappy and perplexed. I 
have nor even the excuse of a great temptation 
to justify what I feel — only a subtle one, like a 
mist that blurs my vision. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 301 

Thou God I I do not care so much — for any 
other thing — evr, n, to do what is right. Teach 
me where right es,- is! I ;.;n willing to count 
its price, to pa i's cost. I am willing to be 
very lonely, lonener ttiun I need to be, if I can 
be sure of doing right. I am willing to give up 
the only comfort I have, if I ought to do that. 
. . . Hear my first prayer, O God!— Dana, 
Dana, Dana ! Wherever in this wide world my 
poor husband is — I pray for him ! If he is sick, 
or sinful, if he is in any trouble, if he has for- 
gotten me, though he should come back and be 
cruel to me — I pray for him, for him ! 

December the eighteenth. 
The doctor has got home. I think he arrived 
at dusk, but it was late before he came over, 
nearly ten o'clock. He looked fatigued beyond 
description, and yet he had a radiance. AH the 
room seemed to shine when he entered it. I 
had that old feeling that he stood in a stream of 
light, and it was as if I crossed the current when 
I moved to take his outstretched hand. There 
was a solemn elation in his eyes. 

"You have had a good rest!" I cried, "a 
happy journey ! " 

" A happy journey, yes." Smiling, he studied 
me as if my too candid face were a Chaldean 



302 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

seal. For the first time in my life I felt uncom- 
fortable before my old friend, and I took refuge 
in the best of all civilized disguises — elaborate 
frankness. 

" I missed you, Doctor, ridiculously. I think 
you ought either never to go away, or else to 
stay all the time. I have yet to learn to do 
without you, Robert." 

" All that will take care of itself," said Robert, 
gently. " There are first that shall be last. And 
I am glad that you missed me, too. It harmed 
nobody, and it touches me." 

If Robert's face had frosted, or assumed any 
of the masculine defenses which a commonplace 
man throws out between himself and a woman 
whom he is capable of misirferpreting, I think, 
dear as he is to me, I could have spurned him 
in my heart. But his comfortable, matter-of-fect 
words restored the poise of my own nature; 
the vertigo steadied instantly. By a divination 
he put me delicately at my ease, like the gentle- 
man he is. 

We talked awhile quietly. The radiance 
that I spoke of remained translucent on his face. 
He said he would come in to-morrow, and ran 
up and kissed Marion in her crib, and played 
with Job a little, and then he went away. What 
was that curious thing he said ? There are first 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 303 

that shall be last? . . . Robert is usually so 
direct ; he is never given to conversational sor- 
ceries. 

December the nineteenth. 
The doctor came in this noon. He asked if I 
could spare James, who is needed in the coach- 
house, and suggested the objectionable Peterkin 
as a substitute. I demurred. 

" I saw Eliot about the grounds this morning. 
If he is at liberty now, why can't I have Eliot ? 
— if you insist on anybody." 

"Eliot is on night duty," replied the doctor. 
" I thought perhaps Peterkin — but never mind. 
Keep James, if you prefer, by all means." 

Now, penitent, I protested. For Peterkin I 
now entreated. Peterkin, only Peterkin, could 
protect my i. 'led household or assuage my 
troubled spi. '>ut the doctor smiled and 
shook his head. He did not ask me to abjure 
my folly and bolt my doors. He has ceased to 
fret me on this topic. One of the remarkable 
things about Robert is that he conforms to a 
weakness as generously as he admires a strong 
point. He accepts a woman just as she is, and 
if she does a foolish thing, he takes it as a matter 
of course, like a symptom. If he had the chance 
he might cure it, but he never exasperates her 
by resenting it. I know, when he loved me 



304 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

long ago, before I was married, I used to feel 
that he loved me for my very faults. 

It would be difficult to say how much happier 
and safer I feel now that the doctor has come 
back. I have been listening lately at night for 
the telephone — it is impossible to say why. But 
it has not called again. I dn'ted all Dana's 
music to-day. 

December the tx-entieth; noon. 
There was a savage storm last night — sleet and 
snow fighting. James dug my paths before he 
went to the hospital, and came back after a 
while, plowing his way over with Father's little 
old snow-plow and the doctor's white horse. 
There is quite a clear path all around the tree- 
house. It makes me feel less shut in and cut 
off. Mercibel, at the office window, waved her 
nurse's apron and blew a kiss to me. The doctor 
will hardly come over, I think. I understand 
there are some pretty sick patients. There 
seems t. '-e some agitation at the hospital. The 
countei....ice of my father's house has a tense 
expression, as if it concealed drama — as it does, 
as it must. All the tragedy of al! that disabled 
and disordered life crowds crushir;g upon the 
superintendent. How seldom this occurs to me I 
I am engrossed ii. my own drama. I think I 
must be yet very young. 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 30 j 

The telephone wires are furred with sleet and 
sag heavily, but still hold their thin lips between 
myself and the world ; between myself and the 
watchful, patient, unrewarded kindness which 
has never failed me anywhere. 

December the t-venty-first. 
An extraordinary thing has happened. 

The storm has been a wild caprice, lulling 
and rousing without any visible reason; but by 
mici-afternoon the snow ceased sullenly. There 
was no sun, but a vicious wind, and a stingino- 
powder filled the air. James came over and 
cleared out all my paths again, and brought the 
doctor's remembrances, and was I quite com- 
fortable ? or did I need anything that he could 
do? The doctor did not telephone. Mcrcibel 
did once or twice, but I thought her absent- 
minded, for some reason. 

After dinner, between half-past seven and 
eight o'clock, the ghost of the Wilderness Girl 
got me, for I have stayed indoors too long. I 
put myself into rubber boots and waterproof, 
pulled the hood over my head, and ran out. A 
young moon wandered somewhere in a waste of 
clouds, but it seemed to me only to make every- 
thing darker ; all the shadows of the shrubbery 
crouched like creatures about to spring, and the 






306 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

tree-house stood in such a jungle of blackness 
that I was afraid of it. I tramped about for a 
while, running up and down the paths, and 
crunching the snow, as children do. But I did 
not stay long; I could not have told why, but 
I was definitely afraid. I came back and into 
the house, threw off my waterproof; but, I don't 
krow for what reason, did not remove my rub- 
ber boots. I stood in the hall, by the register 
warming my feet. As I did this, I thought the 
handle of the front door turned. 

" It is the doctor," I said. But it was not the 
doctor, and the door did not open. I started 
to call Job, but he was in the kitchen with 
Luella. At this moment the banshee up in my 
room began to wail, and made such a noise that 
I called up to Ellen to stifle her with a handker- 
chief Ellen, having obeyed me, came to the 
balusters over my head, and said that Marion 
would not go to sleep without Dombey, and 
should she give in to such as that? I answered : 
"Oh, she may have Dombey; I '11 get him 
and toss him up to you," and I went into the 
library for the doll. The shades were not drawn 
— Dana never liked to have them. When I 
stooped to pick up Dombey, I saw upon the 
window-sill the fingers of a man's hand. 

I stood quite still, with Dombey in my arms, 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 307 

and looked at the window. The hand slid, 
finger by finger, and slipped away. It reminded 
me of the hand I saw in my dream of the 
Uruguay uungeon, and it was a left hand, too; 
but it had no ring. I threw on my waterproof^ 
unlatched the front door, and opened it wide. 

" At last," I thought, " we have the burglar." 
It did not occur to me to be afraid. Such a 
sense of wrong overtook me, the rage of the 
home against its violator, that I cared for nothing 
but to defy the fellow. I understand now, per- 
fectly, how small women, timid ones, have 
sprung upon tramps and thieves, and choked 
them and held them till the neighbors came. By 
this time Job had begun to growl from the 
kitchen, and Luella had let him out. I ran 
down the steps and out into the snow, and Job met 
me at the corner of the house. The dog moved 
stealthil_, ; he did not bark. 

"Whoever you are," I cried, "make your 
errand known, or leave my house I " 

There was no person to be seen. I pushed 
on toward the tree-house. There, cringing, 
blotted into the jungle of shadows, I perceived, 
or I thought I did, the figure of a man. It was 
a pitiable figure, poor and outcast. 

"Who are you," I said more gently, "and 
what do you want ? " 



3o8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

There was no reply m,) I .» j 
^hat to do. The thL '^' """«"'" 

moment dived i.r ^T^ ""'''" « 'his 

back nto the hn„c. j l ' <^3"ie 

;ongha.tte^IrASUt^r^^ 

-s^il^Vdtr;^^^^""--^^^'"^^ 

the doctor what 1h . '° "^^ '° ^^'^P^""^ 

thought lloXt r He h"''"'''''^ 
and I knew JaJJ;:,,^;™ enough, 

hy then perhaps half-past eightlS ElT" 
" I won't Ho i ^"""^ '° Marion." 

that the old servnn, ^7' ■ *"^ P^ceived 

also that n held'n h"'^ ''''''' ''"' 

clasped to my hea„ T u^ affectionately 

she^went„pri::,l^-Xec,., n^^ 
gone, I slid to the front h/ j ''^'^ 

and looked out and about N "P*^"^'' '■^' 

Job. ^ ' ^^'^ forgotten about 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 309 

I was sitting there when the door opened 
m earnest, swiftly though softly, and the doctor 
entered. To my last hour I shall not be able to 
forget the expression of his face. 

" You have had a fright ! " he began. " Tell 
me all about it — quickly." 

I now saw Eliot behind the doctor, and 
James, and Peterkin — a good match between 
them all for a gang of housebreakers. 

" How in the world did you know ? " J par- 
ried foolishly. 

Robert interrupted mf with real impatience. 
I thought, for the instant, he would have liked 
to shake me — but not hard. 

"Speak, can't you ?" he cried. " There is no 
time to lose. Did he annoy you? Did you 
see the man ? " 

I collected mys^ If, and told him all there was 
to tell. It was little enough, and seemed to dis- 
appoint him. The two nurses had by this time 
vanished, directed, I thought, by a single up- 
ward motion of the superintendent's heavy eyelids. 

" What do you say you said," demanded the 
doctor, "when you first opened the door?" 

"I said : ' H^hoever you are, make your errand 
knoun, or leave my house.' " 

The doctor turned the high collar of his fur- 
lined coat, half concealing his averted face. 



310 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Go up to bed," he said. " Petcrkin will 
sleep hfo to-night. I have need of James. It" 
you are disturbed again, call me instantly. Mama. 
Do you understand ? " 

" Don't be cross to me, Doctor," I quavered 
childishly. " I will do whatever you say." 

He went, and Peterkin came. I am too ex- 
cited to sleep, and so I write. Job has but just 
come in. He is wet through, and shivers vio- 
lently. He must have been out a long time. 

December the twenty-second. 
Our tramp hi: , ot done us the honor again, 
and nothing wiiatever has happened. In feet, 
life is more than commonly dull, for I took cold 
that night in the snow, and am cherishing a sore 
throat in unejtampled obscurity; the doctor hav- 
ing gone away. Sb, I surmise, has Eliot. So, I 
think, has Peterkin. James appears every night 
as before, only now very early, by six o'clock. 
Mercibel comes over and stays through the day— 
I suppose be. ause I have a sore throat; at all 
events, those seem to be her orders. She an- 
swers the telephone, which rings occasionally. 
Now and then she seems to have messages from 
the doctor, who inquires for me, with his remem- 
brances. He does not ask me to come to the 
telephone. Mercibel says he says I am to be 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 311 

very careful of this throat, and not to strain my 
voice. I am trying to finish Marion's Christmas 
presents — chiefly am I dressing a new wife for 
Dombey. I have got her a doll's house from 
her father, for I could not have her think he had 
forgotten to send her anything. I am very 
lonely. I can't see why the doctor should have 
to go away so soon again. Mercibel says it is a 
professional errand and he could not help it. I 
miss him cruel'y — I am quite demoralized by 
missing him ; I may as well own to this as to 
experience it. 

IVhat tvill became of me if Robert is so necessary 
to me as this ? . . . 

A woman may be made very unhappy, I find, 
for the sake of a man whom she does not love, 
whom she must not love. Friendship takes 
i.^.j of women more seriously than of men, I 
think. Is it a disorder to which we are tempera- 
mentally more subject ? 



December the tvjenty-third. 
The doctor has come home again. He called 
at once, very early thismorning, to see about my 
throat. I was startled at his appearance ; he 
must have had a hard trip. But yet he has 
happy eyes. As I watched them I felt that 
mine might safely say anything, for it was as if 



3' 2 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

You have behave! like a queen at her exe 
cufon." he said. He talke.i about n,v hu band 

co.c^ckthrit^Lx-e^'}:,^ 

on my lap and hsten..d with a portentous so e . 
n.ty to our conversation; there are ti„,es when 
tha dog seems like a brownie. Job has been 
restless and unhappy these last fe. d" 
bleeps on the foot of my bed, and start ' fre 
quently, and has bad dreams an<i htt e York 
sh.re n.ght^^„ares out of which I have to wake 
him up and reassure him. 

M.R,OK ^^'lf''^^'l~-'-'''y-Mrri>,- afternoon. 
iviARioN hit the Parthenon frieze behind .k 

I'brary sofa a hard whack wit LXl' 
and the paper broke away; the paste h'afdnS' 
and the fr.eze has hung loosely for a long time 

CtZ ? "' '• ^"u' ' "^ '^^ I^ands^frr;- 
that I had forgotten about -David and Dora. 

the i'se inTh " r ■' "'^" ' '''' P"' '^em on 
fun nf f ^^=»'c'mine, and how Dana made 

"p. I tftought how he teased Job by 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 313 

patting D-avid ami Dora, ami how Job snarled 
with jealousy ami sprang at the picture, and 
how Dana laughed out — nobody ever had such 
a laugh as Dana. How happy was I ! How 
dear was he! And we did love each oth«r_ 
God knows. 

"Pity Mommcr!" cooed Marion behind me. 
"Go and get Job," I commanded wildly, for 
I could not have the child bchol.l my overthrow. 
Something beat about me lik<- a whirlwind 
rising from— the woman's God knows where. 
... I have tried to forget, I have tried to for- 
get!— not to suffer, not to fbel, to divert my 
soul, to supplant Almighty Love by something 
else; and I thought I had succeeded, but I had 
climbed a ladder which rested in the air — and 
now, in a moment, it toppled with me. And 
David and Dora had brought it down . . . that 
litf'- thing, that little foolish dear home thing, 
thai Dana and I had done, and laughed about! 
together. 

" Why don't you do as I bid you ? " I de- 
manded, crossly enough, of Marion. "Why 
don't you go for Job?" 

My daughter put up a grieved lip. 
"Job came his own self And I fink I will 
go make a call on Ellen." Holding her little 
head haughtily, my baby scornfully left me. 



314 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

Ashamed, I turned to follow her, and hurried a 
litt e, and so stumbled over something in the 
hall — and it was Dana's old blue velveteen 
coat. Job was curled up on it, fixed and watch- 
tul. How he had found it, why he had brought 
It, only Job can say. It was plain that he had 
meant to bring the coat to me, and, laboriously 
dtaggmg .t. had wavered in his purpose at the 
foot of the stairs. Perhaps a glimpse of David 
and Dora had arrested his inner motive"; one 
never can tell: a highly organized dog is very 
complex. ' 

Commending Job and comforting Marion I 
took the coat and came up with it into Dana's 
room, and locked the doors; and I thought I 
would hang the coat up first - but oh. the touch 
of It, the touch of it I . . . 

At first I only laid my cheek upon it, for I 
dared no more. But remembrance has her 
Judgment Day, when the books are opened 
And the illuminated text of married love which 
I have sealed with seven seals stared at me from 
silver and from crimson pages -and there was 
no more power in me to close the book. 

I caught my husband's coat to my heart, and 
clasped it, and kissed it. and then I kissed it 
again — oh, and again, till the tears stopped the 
kisses; and when the sobs came, I felt that some- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 315 

thing finer than reason was saved in me. I 
threw myself on Dana's bed, and sunk my fece 
in the coat, and stroked it. 

I thought ofeverything that I had tried to forget, 
and I forgot everything that I had been remem- 
bering. I got down from the bed, and knelt, 
with my face in the coat, and lifted my hands, 
and thought I would try to pray again; but all I 
could sty was : 
"Dana!" 

For we did love each other — and I am his 
wife. All the awful power of the marriage tie 
closed about me,— its relentlessness, its precious- 
ness, — not to be escaped. The dead joys got 
out of their graves and looked upon me. I 
thought of all that faith and sacredness, and of 
the honor in which we cherished it. I thought 
how I had barred these things from my heart be- 
cause it was broken and so it could not hold them. 
Who said: "It is worth trying . . . suffering 
... to save a married love"? That must 
have been Robert. I got up from my knees 
and walked to and fro across my husband's 
room. I went to the window and drew his 
curtains and looked out at his stars. And, by 
the holy name of the happiest hour that we had 
ever known, I charged myself with a vow, for 
Dana's sake. 



3i6 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

As soon as I was something composed, I sent 
for the doctor so urgently that he came at once. 
Marion had gone to bed, and the library was 
littered with her Christmas things. I was tying 
up Dombey's second wife in silver paper with a 
crimson ribbon. 

"Let me help you," said Robert, directly. He 
took the doll, and tied the package neatly; in fact, 
he sawthat myfingers trembled so I could not do it. 
Abruptly I began : 

" Doctor, I am going to find my husband. I 
shall take the child and start." 
" Where are you going ? " 
" I do not know." 
"When?" 

" At once — to-morrow, I think." 
"Why?" 

" He may need me — who knows? " 
" I," said Robert, gravely. 
^Tou?" 

I pushed the second wife into the doll's house, 
anyhow, and she slid out into the doctor's lap. 
He picked her up, and put her carefully some- 
where, before he spoke again. 
" Tired of trusting me, Marna ? " 
Then I said: "I must act for myself I 
have borne all I can. If he is alive, I will find 
him. If he is dead — '" 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 3,7 

"Would you be willing." interrupted Robert 
gently, "to wait a little - perhaps two or three 
daysY I can advise you better if you give me 
a httle fme I have some pretty sick patients 
just now." he added wearily, "and such a step 
would be very important. You would need 
advice." 

"I should need you, I grant you !" I cried out 
cruelly. "I can't even love my own husband 
without your help — I have come to that " 

-Murna/" pleaded Robert, in a voice that 
wrung my heart. 

I took one look at his face, and then some- 
thmg m me gave way suddenly, and I slid to 
the hassock on the floor below me, and— what 
might I have done? I cannot tell. I do not 

u^T u ^"^ ""^ ''"'^ "P°" ^'" knee, like the " 
Child that I sometimes seem to myself to have 
been to him, and so sobbed out die "Forgive 
me, Robert!" which came surging to my lips? 
I do not know. I cannot tell. Instantly he had 
ntted me to my feet. 

" You are tired out," he said. " Go up to bed 
at once. Sleep if you can. Don't try to talk to 
me. I understand. Child, I understand you 
better than you do yourself I know I 

know how you love your husband; better 'than 
any man of us — is — apt to be loved." 



3i8 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" I will see you to-morrow," he added in his 
usual manner. " We will talk everything over. 
Trust me till then." 

" I will trust you till I am dead, and after," I 
answered him. We shook hands as if nothing 
had happened. At the door, he turned and re- 
garded me mournfully and something solemnly, 
I thought — as if the man were looking his last 
upon some dear and sacred privilege. 

"If I can keep — trustworthy — " he said; 
ai:il so he shut the door. 

Later. 
I HAPPENED on this, to-day, that Stevenson said 
of himself: " I came about like a well-handled 
ship. There stood at the wheel that unknown 
steersman whom we call God." 



January the fifteenth. 
Until this I have had no moments. Now, 
while my patient is sleeping naturally, my heart 
draws its first breath. It will rest me more to 
write than to sleep. 

I see that my record broke asunder abruptly 
on Christmas eve, and with the doctor's call. 

I slept that night, by God's good grace, though 
no one could have been more surprised at this 
fact than myself I dreamed that Marion and I 
started out together on Christmas day to find 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 319 

her father, and that we went to Uruguay, and 
crossed the swamp with the log and the snake, 
and Dana was in the dungeon with the crosses, 
and he put up his left hand with the wedding- 
ring upon it, and so I knew him; and I tore 
away the bars, for they were old and rusty, and 
set him free. And he said -I was dreaming 
what he said when Marion waked me by slapping 
me with Dombey's second wife. 

The day went wildly to me. It was not a 
pleasant day, but snowed a little and blew more. 
The wind was savage, and the sky frowned. 
The doctor did not come over, though Mercibel 
did. Now and then I got away from Marion's 
Christmas litter, and went up-stairs and put things 
into bags, at random. I think my idea was to 
start as soon as the doctor came — to what place, 
to what end, I knew no more than the child! 
My head whirled. I kept repeating: 
" I will find my husband." 
In the afternoon I telephoned the doctor im- 
patiently, but he was not in. As it grew to be 
dusk, everything looked differently to me, and I 
felt suddenly weakened in soul and body, like a 
person spent by a delirium, and I thought 

"I can never find him without Robert. I 
must wait for Robert." 
But Robert did not come over. Marion and 



320 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

I had our supper, and Luella went out; but 
Ellen stayed, and James came over; Peterkin 
did not, so I was alone with my fether's old 
servants. 

It still snowed fitfully, not steadily nor much. 
There was some sleet, and it rapped on the win- 
dows like little knuckles. The banshee did not 
cry, and, except for the sleet, there was not any 
sound. Marion had gone to bed, but Job was 
playing with his rubber chicken. The chicken 
had a gamboge head, and Job had cut its throat 
already. I sat dully watching Job and the 
chicken. He dropped the chicken while I did 
this, and went to the door. I said : 

" Oh, you don't want to go out again so soon. 
Job; ■- 's snowing. " But the dog insisted. I let 
him ou> ind came back and sat down again. I 
picked up Dombey's second wife, and Dombey, 
and Banny Doodle, and put them all in the 
doll's house, arranging them childishly, as if I 
had been a little girl myself. 

" We are all dolls," I thought, " and fate plays 
with us." I added Job's chicken to the collec- 
tion, stupidly. 

I went out into the hall and stood by the 
register, and called up to Ellen to see if Marion 
were happy; but Ellen had shut the nursery 
door, for the night was cold, and so she did not 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 321 

hear tne. I was quite alone when Job scratched 
on the front door to be let in. 

I opened the door immediately, but the dog 
did not come in. He ran off again into the 
snow, and I shut the door again. Presently I 
heard him scratching at the door once more, and 
this time he whined impatiently. Once more I 
opened the door, and spoke to him rather sharply: 
" Don't keep me waiting here ! Come in, if 
you are coming at all I " 

But Job ran down the steps and off I thought 
of our tramp, but I felt no fear of any kind, un- 
less that some one should steal Job, and I did 
not shut the door. I stood still in the hall and 
called the dog more gently : 

" Come right in, Dear. Don't stay out in the 
storm any longer I " 

As I spoke, the dog leaped up the steps, shout- 
ing wildly; ran to me and looked back; sprang 
to my arms, kissed me, and ran back. With- 
out hesitation I followed Job, and stepped out 
into the light, fresh snow. 

At the foot of the steps a man leaned against 
the piazza pillar, heavily. He did not start 
when he saw me; and Job was in his arms. 4 
The man regarded me steadily. 

" In God's name," I cried out upon him, "wis 
are you ? " 



322 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"Well," he said, "Job knows, if you don't." 

I did not answer, for I did not dare. I felt 
that the wrong word would pull the whirling 
world crashing on my head. I went up to the 
man, and held out my hand, and led him up the 
steps, and the light smote his face, and it was 
my husband's face. 

" I did n't know," he said timidly, " whether 
you 'd want me back or not." 

Without a word, I led him into the house 
and shut the door behind him. I don't know 
why I did it, but I slid the key, and put it in 
my pocket. He stood still, like a child or a 
sick person, just where I left him. The snow 
dripped from his beard. I took off his hat, and 
then, in the full gas-light, I saw his fece ... the 
havoc on it: shame, disease, despair, and des- 
olation — oh, desolation worse, by all the agonies, 
than mine ! 

" I was a dam fool to leave you, Marna." he 
said, just as I had heard him say it in my dream. 
"I can't stand it any longer. I thought I 'd 
come in — awhile — even if you did n't want to 
keep me." 

" — What ? You don't say very much, I no- 
tice. Well, I don't blame you, Marna." 

" — Don't try, Mama — if it comes so hard as 
that. Don't stand on ceremony. I 'd rather 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 323 

you did n't make such an effort to — be glad to 
see a fellow. It does n't matter very much. I 
can — go away again." 

He turned his shattered face and tottered 
toward the door. I slid between him and it, 
and stretched out my hands. 

" I 'm pretty — wet," he said uncertainly. 

I went straight up to him and clasped him to 
my heart, and his shaking arms closed fast 
about me. 

When I lifted my face, the doctor was there, and 
my father's old servants. Dana did not speak to 
any of them ; he looked about passively. 

" Get off his wet things," said the doctor ; and 
James came up to help us. It did not occur to 
me till afterward to wonder how Robert got 
into the house, for I had the front-door key in 
my pocket. Nothing occurred to me. Dana 
had come home. 

We led him into the library and up to the 
fire, and the doctor rolled up the Morris chair 
for him. I now saw for the first time that my 
husband was a very sick man. He had a singu- 
lar expression. His eyes looked as if they had 
been varnished. He looked around the room, 
noticed the Christmas clutter, the doll's house 
and the dolls, and the Parthenon frieze which 



I 



I: 



324 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

he had helped me to paste over David and 
Dora. 

' .t all looks so — natural," he said pitifully. 
All this while he kept hold of my hand. Job 
came up quietly, and got into lis lap. We 
were standing just so — the doctor on the other 
side of him, and Ellen and James behind — when 
Marion melted into the room. Her little bare 
feet had made no sound upon the padded stairs, 
and she startled us all. Job jumped down from 
Dana's lap, and went and brought his chicken to 
his master. No one spoke. Her fether turned his 
head slowly, and by the time that he saw the little 
girl, she was quite near him. For an instant I 
think she was frightened ; she backed off; wide- 
eyed and wondering, but advanced again, and 
leaned up, in her little white night-gown, agaii 
his knee. 

"Why, she remembers me!" he whispered. 
His face worked ; he hid it on the child's soft 
head and wept aloud. 

" Pity Popper ! " said Marion, distinctly. She 
put up both her hands and stroked his hollow 
cheeks. 



We got him up-stairs as soon as we could, the 
doctor and I — into his own room and his own 
bed. Ellen had warmed the sheets, and every- 




* PITV POPPIbI' EAID MAKIon, OISTlSCftY. 



I 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 3^5 

thing was ready, a. if he had been expected or 
«^he had never been away. I nmaged to 
get in and light his candle and ««/ " « 
Things as he used to like them. He looked at 
everything pathetically, but he did not speak. 
H had ^own strangely very weak I thought, 
fnd panted for his breath. His forehead went a 
sudden deadly color which terrified "^e- '"^ I 
ran and sat on the bed beside h.m. and took 
Hm in my arms. His sunken fkce fell upon my 

breast. ... ., 

"You -re a dear old girl!" he said. 

" I think," said the doctor, unexpectedly, that 
you had better leave him to us for a while. 

And suddenly I saw that Eliot was .n the 
room. But I did not move. 

"Go down-stairs, Mrs. Herwin." commanded 
Dr. Hazelton, peremptorily. 

Wondering and pondering, I obeyed. 
When they called me back. Dana was asleep^ 
It was a dense sleep, and he did "use ^ I 
sat down on the edge of the bed bes.de h,m 
His gleaming pallor was replaced by a stagnam. 
crimson color that I liked no better. 
"Has he a fever^" I whispered. 

"Aren't you going to tell me what ails 
him "i " 



326 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Certainly I am." 

"What is it. Doctor?" 

"Morphine." He drew up Dana's sleeve and 
showed me his poor marred arm. Dana did 
not stir as the doctor gently replaced the sleeve. 



VIII 



"^OME down-stairs," said Robert, "and I will 
VJ tell you everything." 

I looked at Dana and shook my head. 
" He will not miss you," urged the doctor. 
"He will Vnow nothing more till it is time for 
the next dose." 

I asked when that would be. 
"At three in the morning. Eliot will attend 
to that. Leave him with Eliot ; trust him en- 
tirely to Eliot. He has had the care of him for 
— some time." 

I don't think I uttered a word ; I scarcely ex- 
perienced surprise. It seemed, now, that any- 
thing might happen, or might have happened. 
I followed Robert down-stairs in silence, and he 
shut the library door. 

He bade me lie down upon the lounge, " be- 
cause I needed all my strength for what was 
before me now," and he covered me carefully 
with the afghan, and drew up the Morris chair 
opposite me, and began at once. It was still 
3*7 



328 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 
early, scarcely nine o'clock, and we talked two 
hours -evading nothing, facing everything. 

He began by telling me how he had at times 
suspected before Dana went to Uruguay, that he 
was formmg the morphine habit. 

"But he was not my patient; I never had his 
confidence. The early symptoms are elusive- I 
was never sure. I could scarcely create a theory; 
I might have wronged him by the suspicion; I 
decided to keep it to myself" 

"So you sent him atropine 3X !'■ I cried. Curi- 
ously, my mind fastened itself upon this unim- 
portant detail. It seemed to me as if the 
.mportant ones would come faster than I could 
bear them. As they did — as they did • 

I tried to listen as quietly as he tried to speak- 
but .t was not easy for either; and Robert, I 
could see was greatly worn with all that he had 
endured for Dana's sake, and mine. My mind 
ran ahead of h,s, as a woman's mind does with 
a man s and I would take loops in the mystery 
wh.ch he was unraveling slowly, and give the 
snarl a tear. I would say: 

"Yes, yes! So those telephone messages 
w^^ from him? I see — I see. 

" And you traced him by them ? It was you 
who found Dana! It was ;,.« who brought my 
husband back to me." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 329 

Then, when I had collected myself a little: 
" And you have done it all in these two weeks!" 

"On the contrary," replied the doctor, "I 
have had Mr. Herwin's movements watched 
ever since he put himself under the suspicion of 
having deserted you. He was met by my agents 
when the Marion landed ... Did you suppose I 
was sitting with my hands folded all that while ? 
while your husband,j)'»ar husband — There was 
nobody else to do it for you. Your father 
would have. . . We lost him between San Fran- 
cisco and St. Paul ; and that was the hardest part 

ofit." 

"Do you mean—" I began. "Do you 

mean — " 

" Never mind what I mean." 
"Your nurses'? Eliot? Peterkin?" 
"Eliot and Peterkin and — It does not 
signify who, does it ? " 

"I will not interrupt you again, Robert," I 
said humbly. " Tell it in your own way." 

So he told it all, and in his own way; simple, 
direct, modest, manly — Robert's way. He told 
me how he had happened to know that there 
was a sanatorium in that little Western town 
with the queer name. Healer ; and how he had 
telephoned by the longest long-distance wires 
in the land half across the continent, and 



33° CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

so traced Dana -a poor, wretched, outcast 
rr-'" *^' Pl^ce; how he had d^spaS 
Eliot, and how he himself had followed; how 
Dana had left the sanatorium when Eliot reached 
u, and wandered back to Omaha and God knows 
where; how they pursued and how he eluded- 
how they tracked him down at Chicago -my 
poor Dana-m an opium den. and brought him 
w..J.them; for he came willingly withl ber" 
makmg only one condition. 

"Take me to your hospital and treat me till 
1 am fit tQ see my wife," entreated Dana " I 
will not go to her as I am." 

"So I did as he asked," said Robert. "He 
would not come on any other terms. My way 
would have been to bring him straight to you i 
there were so many risks. As it was, . when 
he escaped ... I should never have forgiven my- 
self-nor you me. I can't talk of it!_not yet " 
Nor can I thmk of it — not yet 
For my Dana was the only patient who ever 
escaped the superintendent's guards; and when I 
thmk how he had come straight to me and 
wandered about his own home'that night and 
d.d not dare come m-and how I saw him in 
the tree-house, outcast and despairing, and did 
not know-and he might never have come 
back-and yet I did not know-and how I 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



331 



had hardened my heart against him all that 
while, for I did not know — 

My poor boy had fled to get the liberty of his 
slavery. And Robert tracked him down again ; 
he was buying morphine in a poor place, some 
drug-store at the north end of the city. There, on 
the evening of the second day, Dana felt a hand 
upon his arm. And he did not look up, but 
said: " That you, Hazelton ? Well, I 'm glad 
of it." And again he came with the doctor 
willingly, but this time without conditions, for 
he felt himself a beaten man. So he gave him- 
self into Robert's hands, reserving nothing ; and 
Robert brought him to the hospital, and treated 
him and battled with him and conquered him 
for those two days. And on Christmas evening 
suddenly they gave Dana his liberty, to see what 
use he would make of it ; but it was a trap, for 
he had no liberty, all the exits of the hospital 
and the grounds being guarded, and the super- 
intendent shadowing his every step. 

And my poor boy came straight to me; but he 
was afraid to make himself known, so he loitered 
in the snow, uncertain and ashamed, till Job 
went out and found him. 



When we had touched upon these things, giving 
nervous question and answer, talking rapidly 



332 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

and concisely, like people who sketch but the 
table of contents of a long, unfinished volume, 
the doctor rose abruptly and went up to see 
Dana. I begged leave to go, but he objected, 
and I yielded — I found that I must. I remem- 
bered what I had said to him in my foolish 
anger : " I can't even love my own husband with- 
out your help, it seems; I have come to that." 
Now I could not even see my husband without 
his permission; it had come to that. Robert 
came down again, in a few minutes, with shining 

eyes. 

"He is doing remarkably well," he said. "But 
we had better finish talking while we can. I 
have important things to say to you. Mama. 
. . . Are you comfortable ? Resting? Be quiet. 
Do not agitate yourself You are going to need 
all your strength." 

"Before you begin," I said, "tell me this: 
what has become of my husband's wedding- 
ring? It is gone." 

"I don't think you will be any happier to 

know." 

" Do you know *? " 

"Yes." 

" Was it — was it — " 

» Fawned in Chicago in that place where we 
found him." 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 333 

"This is the worst?" 

"So far as I know, it is the worst." 

"Very well, Robert. There was no — one 

else % " 

"It is my belief that there has been no one 
else The perils of his condition are not that 
way, and I have made - son.e 'nquT.es." 

"Thank you, Robert," I said humbly, as if it 
were his doing. " Now I will listen to you." 

Then he began to talk to me very gravely, 
very kindly, with the terrible frankness of the 
physician, and the merciful gentleness of my old 
friend. He spoke in short sentences, something 

"^^*haVe brought your husband back to you, 
but I have not saved him. I do not even know 
that I can. That depends as much on you as 
on me, and more on the patient than on either 
oLs. In this case he has taken the drug hypo- 
dermically, the most difficult form of the habit 
to cuS i it is the easiest and subtlest to create. 
There are several ways of treating the morphine 
habit. A man may have the drug taken away 

from him abruptly; he may ^'^''r": ?^t 
Ly not. He may be put upon substitu e ano- 
dvnes- they may serve, and they may fell. He 
X be treated by a process of gradual reduction 
by lessening the drug as fast as the diminution 



334 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

can be borne ; he may be rehabilitated by this 
process, or he may nof. I shall adopt this last 
method in treating Mr. Herwin. If I were a 
stranger to him, I might not, necessarily, do so. 
Since I know him, I select it as being, in my 
opinion, the only method for him. It is the 
slowest, but the safest. It will mean a great deal 
that you do not understand, Marna. The ex- 
periment will probably last a year, even if it is 
successful. He must suffer, and so will you. 
He must be guarded like a perishing soul — and 
so interpreted. He must be cherished and 
loved — above all, he must be borne with per- 
fectly; he must be loved perfectly. It will not 
do to offer him any half measure — not to feel to 
him doubtfully, or critically, or with reservations. 
You will need all the patience, all the purpose, 
of your nature. You will need — I was going 
to say that you will need the infinite qualities. 
Forgive everything. Forget all you can. Bear 
anything. Trust. Hope. Endure. Something 
depends on me, but everything on you. Be- 
tween us we may save him. I can promise yov 
nothing, but I will do my best; and if I fail, yov 
will forgive u)e, won't you, Marna? . . . 

"Obey me without question, if you expect him 
to stand any chance at all. Follow every order. 
Raise no querulous doubts. Work v:itb me — as 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 335 

if we were one being— for Dana's sake. I shall 
regulate every detail of your life and his — tell 
you when to devote yourself to him, when to 
leave him to nurses, how to do this, when not 
to do that. I shall seem a tyrant to you, often 
mysterious, sometimes cold. But there is no 
other chance. Do you think you can trust 

me?" 

Then I said : " If I cannot, if I do not, 1 
cannot trust the God in heaven above us, 

Robert." . 

" There is one other thing," said Robert, with- 
out smiling. " I am going to speak out to you, 
soul to soul. Too much is at stake for any pal- 
try reservations — and I can consider nothing 
but the salvation of my patient. I can't stand 
on anything — not even on wounding you. 
Mama — if I must. I think you will under- 
stand me; but if you don't, I cannot help that. 
I must speak and run my risk." 

He rose and paced the library, showing his 
first sign of disturbance in all that tense, tre- 
mendous evening. 

" Speak, Rob. rt," 1 '.aid; " I am not dull." 
He stopped and looked down upon me with 
the most soWmn and th. u\v>st beautiful spirit 
that I ever saw imprisoned in the eyes of any 



336 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

" Mama," he said, " to save your husband you 
must love him without any qualifications. You 
must love him altogether. You must serve him 
altogether. Nothing must come between your- 
self and him — not even the shadow of that 

which never has been and can never be no 

other feeling, no other thought. Not even a 
friendship must divert your interest in Dana's 
cure — no, not even ours. You will think of 
it — and express it — as little as possible. Mama. 
It is the only way. And if I do not . . . express 
it, you will not allow yourself to believe that I 
... do not think of it. You said you would 
trust me, you know. And I shall be always 
here. We must fight this fight together — yet 
apart — sacredly." ... His voice broke. He 
turned abruptly, went up-stairs to his patient, 
and so left me. 

I slipped to my knees and hid my face in my 
hands. I can never say again that I do not 
know what it is to pray. 

January the thirtieth. 
We are living so intensrly that I wonder I ever 
thought I knew what it was to live before. 
How small are the simple joys and sorrows 
beside the great dramas where soul and body 
are intervolved — the tremendous pathological 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 337 

secrets upon which a human home may lock its 
doors! There the physician stands high priest, 
and sacred. There a wife finds herself perhaps 
for the first time in her married life at peace 
with her wifehood ; she comes to her valuation ; 
all the tenderness of her nature is employed, all 
that which had not been cherished, that which 
she had come to count as superfluous and wasted. 
It is impossible for me to say how happy I am 
to find myself so necessary to Dana. My poor 
boy is gaining upon himself day by day, each 
one bringing a little advance that we can see 
and he can feel. I heard my father say once, 
when he was recovering from some illness : 

"The happiest people in this world are the 
convalescents." 

There are times when I think the happiest 
man I ever saw is Dana. There are others when 
the blackness of the spaces before God said 
"Let there be light" seems to envelope him; 
and darkness which can be felt rolls between his 
soul and mine. But when this happens I have 
learned to say: "This, too, will pass." 

There are days when Eliot is not suffered to 
leave his patient for the lifting of an eyelanj. 
There are nights when the house is guarded, and 
when James or Peterkin sleeps in the library. 
There are others when the doctor himself stays 



338 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

with us from dark to dawn; but these are rare, 
and are becoming rarer. Not once yet has Dana 
fled from us, or obtained it for himself from any 
source. There is everything in preserving the 
patient's self-respect and his reputation, Robert 
says. This he has most skilfully succeeded in 
doing. Such tact, such gentleness and firmness 
— but I cannot write of it. 

It is understood that Dana has come home 
from Uruguay with some malarial condition due 
to the climate. We arc often seen walking or 
driving together. From this circumstance the 
neighborhood seems to derive a kind of reflected 
joy. We are so happy that I find no time to 
write of anything. 

To-day Dana asked a great privilege — that 
Eliot should go out of the house, and that I 
should spend the whole day with him. The doc- 
tor consented without hesitation. There is some- 
thing, he says, in trusting a patient. Dana and 
I took a long walk in the morning ; in the after- 
noon Robert sent over his horses, and we had a 
sleigh-ride, and Marion went with us. Between- 
whiles my dear boy asked me to sit by him, to 
read to him, and once to brush his hair as I used 
to do. When he slept he held my hand, and I 
sat on the edge of the bed, cramped and uncom- 
fortable, and well content. When he woke he said : 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 339 



" You 're a dear old girl ! " 

Often he calls me pathetically : 

" Mama, can you spare time to sti;_' with me 
a little? It seems to me yon have been gone a 
great while. I miss you. Mama." Or perhaps 
it is : " Eliot, where is my wite *? I want my 
wife." Or, " Marion, u:.\ ami call your mother. 
I want your mother V.^k her to come and 
bring her sewing in 'itrc I want lur to sit 
where I can see her." 

So Marion runs, and, ocinfr overcome with 
the importance of her mission, rumbles upon 
her words, and gets no further than : 

" Pity Popper ! Pity Popper I ' 

" Marion, Marion ! " I say, " I do pity Pop- 
per with all my heart." And I hurry to him, 
and he turns his poor foce with the havoc on it, 
and lifts his wasted hand, and draws my cheek 
to his. Then I see that he is sore bested, and 
I challenge my love that it may be strength to 
him, and all my strength that it may be love for 
him. The tenderness that he used to disregard 
I can pour upon him, as Radha did on Krishna, 
" give to him in fullest measure " — now. I am 
not aftaid of loving him too much — now. I am 
not ashamed to ihow him how I feel to him — 
now. If I touch him, if I kiss him, he cherishes 
me — now. He cannot live without this wine. 



^ 



340 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

February the tjjelfth. 
Dana is beginning to refer sometimes to things 
tliat happened while he was away. Until now 
he has scarcely alluded to the abyss which he 
thrust between us. Last night he said : 

" Oh, I was so homesick, Mama ! But I was 
ashamed to come back. Nobody knows how 
a man feels ... so many thousand miles 
away . . . and sick. Oh, it was such a 
blanked country ! " 

The other day he said : 

" The nights were the worst. I could not get 
any sleep without it. One night I said — two 
nights I said : ' If I die for it, I will not increase 
the dose to-night.' And it £.• to be two 
o'clock, and those sinking-turns came on, and I 
thought it was all up with me. Then I called 
you. I cried out very loud : ' Mama ! Mama ! ' 
Upon my word, old girl, I believe I thought 
you 'd hear me." 

Then I said : 

" I did hear, Dana." For I remembered the 
nights when I heard his voice quite plainly, 
and it was just two o'clock, and he called : 
" Mama ! " 

He has never spoken about his wedding- 
ring; nor have I. The little gold Madonna 
still hangs upon his watch-guard, though his 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 341 

watch is gone. What has she witnessed? 
She keeps her counsel well. 

February the twentieth. 
I WAS looking over some of Dana's things to- 
day, for we have been so absorbed with our 
patient, and so busy with downright nursing, 
diat, really, I have never straightened anything 
out properly since he came back. The doctor 
had taken him out driving (with Marion), and I 
had an hour altogether to myself. In one of 
his pockets I found my photograph — the old 
one in the May-flower dress. It was in a leather 
case that folded over, and it was very much 
worn. He seems to have lost Marion's, but 
this — the tears smarted to my eyes when I saw 
how often he must have handled my picture — 
my poor boy! 

Afterward I was dusting out his traveling 
dressing-case, and mending it, for the lining had 
broken away, and under the lining, carefully 
pinned in so that it should not slip, I found the 
leaf of the woodbine that I ran and picked for 
him from the tree-house on thai morning — 
that last one, when he sailed, when the woman 
with the hand-organ sang, " Keep me from sink- 
ing down ! " The ruby-red leaf has faded to a 
dull color, and is quite frail and brittle. I won- 



342 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



der that it has lasted at all. I kissed the leaf, 
for I thought perhaps he might have kissed it 
if he cared enough to keep it. At first I thought 
I would ask him. But I have concluded that a 
wife is wiser (consequently happier) not to put 
emotional catechisms to her husband. Few men 
take kindly to this feminine habit, even well 
ones; and a sick man resents it. And a few 
drops of resentment will extinguish a forest fire 
of tenderness. The doctor said to me one day 
when Dana first came home : 

" Take as much for granted as possible. As- 
sume all you can." 

I have no time in these days to think much 
— not too much — about the doctor ; but once in 
a while I wonder how he has become a master 
of the magicians: how he should be expert in 
the occult art of married life — this lonely man. 
I suppose it may be partly because he belongs 
to one of the confessional professions. 

March the first. 
To-DAV there has been a blasting storm. We 
have sat within a white whirlwind, as if we were 
on the outside of a blind planet, spinning through 
frozen ether on a mysterious errand, directed by 
the moving finger of the unseen God. So, 
I think, a human love whirls blindly before 



hwmmmh' 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 343 

its fate, driven by the Power not itself, through 
fire, through frost, thrcwgh midnight, through 
dawn; and the heart rides upon it, like organ- 
ized life upon the globe, fixed there without 
consent or power to rebel, whirling on anyhow, 
anywhere, gladly or madly, yet, on the whole, 
enjoying the ride ! 

Though I go along trembling, like » leaf driven by > 
strong wind, have mercy. Almighty, have mercy! 

That verse from the pagan scriptures which 
Father used to like comes to me in paraphrase 
lately. I should put it like this : 

Though I am a leaf driven by a strong wind. I bless Thee, 
Almighty, I bless Thee! 

To-day I am quivering between happiness and 
pain, diving from the skies to the sod and up 
again — for Dana has touched the piano; it is 

the first time. 

We have had a hard day with him, for it was 
impossible for him to go ou . and Eliot is off duty 
on an experiment — Dana pleaded so. The doc- 
tor waded over in the blizzard to see him early 
' this morning; no horse could live in the drifts 
Robert sat with his patient a long time, and 
left me with the day's orders, and would come 
again. 



w^ 



344 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"Give up everything else," he said. "De- 
vote yourself utterly. Days like this are traps. 
Watch him, but do not seem to. Repeat the 
dose, but not till four o'clock. Lock everything 
carefully. Run no chances." 

Dana has been very restless all day. At two 
he asked me timidly " if it were not time." At 
three he asked again. At half-past three he 
grew suddenly very feint and went a deathly 
color, and I telephoned, and Robert came, strug- 
gling and jjanting, through the snow. When he 
came, he sat with his watch in his hand and a 
finger on Dana's pulse. But he sat till the time 
appointed, yielding nothing, I am sure, in this 
piteous battle; nor did my poor boy beg for 
quarter, not once. They fought it out together, 
man to man. 

" Can't you give us a little music, Mrs. Her- 
win ? " asked the doctor, in a matter-of-fact 
way. But the interrogation was a command. I 
went to the piano and played for a while, blun- 
dering along with old things of Schubert and 
Schumann that Dana and I used to like, but stu- 
pidly enough ; and I do not sing. After a time 
I stopped and went into the library. Dana was 
there reading quietly, and Marion and Job were 
playing about his feet. Robert had gone. 
Dana's eyes had their varnished look — but, ah. 



•smmsmegMvamimiJgk-.'T.-' 



^!^Sf^^^^}^^S^^- 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 345 

so much less of it, and softer ; it is no longer 
painful. I went to him, and he clung to my 
hand a little. Then I sat down and began to 
mend a tear in the flounce of Dombey's second 
wife; and while I was sewing quietly, suddenly 
the long-silent power of hi* hand uf)on the piano- 
keys smote every nerve in my body. Then his 
shaken voice uprose ; 

Stay, stay at hoaw, my heart, and rest ; 

Home-keeping hearts are happiest. 
For those that wander they know not where 
Are full of trouble and full of care — 
To stay at home is beat. 

Then his hand fell with a crash apon the ivory. 
I ran, and held his face against my breast, and 
bowed my own upon his hair, and said to him — 
I don't know what ; and I kissed him in a way 
he used to like. Then he whirled upon the 
piano-stool, and caught me and crushed me to 
his heart. 

" You 're the sweetest woman in the world ! " 
he said. "I never did deserve you, Marna; 
and now — " 

Then I said : 

"I always loved you, Dana; but now I 
honor you. It is a manly fight, and you battle 
like a man." 



':^:«.r; 



■s?'*' *^!,m-^5yiii3,' 



346 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

"It was n't a manly fell," he quivered piti- 
fully. " I had n't any good excuse — no terri- 
ble suffering, as some have. I thought I could 
stop any time. But, before God, Mama, nobody 
knows ! Nobody can." 

" My poor boy ! " I sobbed. " My poor, poor 
boy!" ^ 

I do not cry in these days — never for Dana 
to see me. I think this was the first time, and I 
was ashamed and terrified at what I had done. 
But it did not seem to harm him any ; I think it 
even did him good. He looked at me with 
such a look as I would have died for joy to see 
upon his fece once, in that time before he went 
away. 

" If it had n't been for you, old girl — " he fal- 
tered. He whirled and struck the piano with a few 
resounding chords. " When I get well. Mama, 
I will make it up to you," he said. He played 
and sang no more ; but we passed a gentle even- 
ing, and he went quietly to bed. 

I don't think I ever knew real, live happiness 
before — not growing happiness, with roots. 
"The madness has gone, but tlie deamess re- 



Jpril the fifth. 
To-DAY we were driving alone, and the soft air 
had wings. Dana seemed to be lifted upon 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



347 



them to some lonely upper ether where I could 
not follow him. There is no solitude, I believe, 
after all, like that of the soldier in a profound 
moral struggle ; it is more separate than that of 
any mere misery. Dana looked exalted and re- 
mote. Lately he has made great advances and 
gains upon himself in the process of his cure. 
These have weakened his physical but intensi- 
fied his moral vitality. He said abruptly : 

" You see, I thought if I went away I could 
get rid of it. I did n't want to have anybi)dy 
know — I felt ashamed. There was one time I 
thought if you knew, I should dislike you. I 
could n't tell how you would take it — a man 
can't bear to be lectured. If I had only known I 
Mama, you have been a dear old girl. You 're 
too good ' for the likes of me.' " He tried to 
laugh it off, but his lip trembled. 

"I thought the voyage would do something; 
but it made everything worse. When I got to 
California — a man would n't ever need natural- 
ization papers in hell, not after that." . . . 

..." Thought I had deserted you. Mama *? 
Well, I had, I suppose. I could n't come home 
— like that. I thought I should drop out of 
sight, die of an overdose some night, and be out 
of everybody's way. It put itself to me in that 
light. I used to say : ' You 're a disgraceful 



348 CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 

wreck. You 'd only shame her. Perish, and 
rid her of you. It 's the only manly tkii^ left 
for you to do.' Three or four tinies I mixed the 
overdose, and lay down to take it and die ; and 
I had a lefter that I kept ready for you when 
everything was over. Then I would see that 
little qui\ -jr of your chin — " 

"Where is that letter. Dear? ' I asked. 

"I gave it to the doctor," he said. "He 
did n't want me to have it around. I asked him 
to bum it. If it had n't been for Hazelton, 
Marna — Say, Mama, have you any idea what 
that fellow has done for me ? " 

He checked the horse, and we turned toward 
home. Dana drove rapidly and in silence. 
When we came in sight of the hospital we met 
the doctor, driving too. He had the paralytic 
patient in the buggy, and no speech or language 
could tell the transfiguration of the poor thing's 
face. But Robert looked worn. 

" Marna," said Dana, abruptly, " I wonder you 
never fell in love with him. I should n't have 
blamed you." 

I slid my hand into i^iy husband's, and his clo&ed 
upon my wrist. 

May the twenty-second. 
It is a week to-night since it happened, and I am 
writing (as I do) because nothing else will rest me. 

Dana went to bed as usual, and no one thought 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 349 

of any trouble or any danger. He had been 
so much better, and Eliot has not been required 
to stay for quite a while. Dana and I have 
fought it out alone- 1 giving the diminished 
dose, by the doctor's orders ; it had grown quite 
small. About two weeks ago my poor boy asked 
Robert'? permission to handle the dose himself. 
" Don't you think I am fit to be trusted now ? " 
he asked abruptly. So Robert trusted him. And 
everything went well, for the quantity was care- 
fully prescribed and watched, and it lessened 
regularly and rapidly, day by day. The doctor 
says that he has never seen any person show the 
pluck and determination that Dana has shown in 
ridding himself of his affliction. 

" It is a manly record," Robert said. " Mr. 
Herwin has won my unqualified respect." 

I had begun to feel very proud of Dana. 

On this evening that I refer to (it was Sunday 
evening) Dana had been playing a little, and 
he tried to sing the "Bedouin Love-Song"; but 
he could not do it, for it seemed to move him 
too much, and emotion saps his strength. He 
began: 

From the Desert I come to thee 

but stopped abruptly and left the room. 

He called me presently, saying that he thought 
he would go to bed; and I went up to help him 



•:J ;^ 



''"l'^Vi,'#- 



3SO 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 



in the little ways he likes, and kissed him good 
night, and went to Marion, for she cried for 
me. Then I locked the front door, and Job 
came up with me, and trotted into Dana's room 
at once. Job has slept on his master's bed 
every night since Dana came home. Dana was 
sleeping quietly, so I went to bed, the doors 
being open between our rooms, and the com- 
pass-candle burning on Dana's table. 

Once or t*ice in the night I crept in to make 
sure that all was well, and once he kissed me 
and said I was a dear old girl; but I slept be- 
tweenwhiles, feeling quite at ease about him, 
and I was asleep when Job came into my room. 
I think the dog had tried to wake me without 
at first succeeding, for he was pulling hard at 
my hand with his thin old paws when I be- 
came aware of him. I understood at once, and 
I sprang. Job never cries " Wolf I " and he is 
wiser than most people. 

" Is Master sick, Job ? " I cried ; but I ran. 

The corn pass-candle was burning brightly; 
and when it showe<l me Dana's face, I gave such 
a cry that Ellen rushed from the nursery, and 
the house was aroused in a moment. I man- 
aged to articulate, "The telephone I the doc- 
tor I " while 1 lifted my dear boy to the air and 
did what I could for him. This was little enough, 



CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE 3JI 

for he could take no stimulants, and hr seemed 
to me to be dying in my arms. I had nothing 
to offer him but love and uir — the two elements 
on which human life depends. Some one had 
flung up the window, and I held him to my 
heart and whispered to him : 

"Live, Dana, live I I love you, Dana. Oh 
try to live I" 

I was babbling in this way. 'ike a bride, when 
I looked up and saw the doctor's startled face. 
It was now half-past two o'clock, the faf il hour 
"betwein the night and dawning" when mortal 
strength is at its lowesf, the dead-line of im- 
periled life. 

From then till seven o'clock we fought for 
Dana — science and love, the doctor and I. To 
my fading hour I shall set Robert as he looked 
that night. Beyond a few curt professional 
orders he did not speak. His jaws shut like 
steel locks. His gentle eyes grew terrible, and 
challenged death. Again and again my dear 
boy sank away from us, and once the pulse 
stopped altogether; but the doctor called my 
husband's spirit back. 

I could feel that a flicker of the judgment, a 
blur upon the heart, any error or failure in the 
man, would have cost everything. Dana's life 
lay in Robert's hand as utterly as if it had been 



MIOtOCOTY HSOIUTION TBt CHART 

(ANSI ond ISO TEST CHART No. 21 




^ APPLIED IIVMGE Ine 

=?| 1653 East Mom Street 

r.S RoOesler. New "ofh 14609 US* 

'.Jg (716) «82 - 0300 - Phone 

g^ (716) 288 - 5989 - Fox 



4H 



;:OI)K OF BUILDING LAWS. 



BY-LAW OONOBENINO THE EEBOTION OF BUILDINGS 
ON 8T. CATHEEINB STEBET, FEOM THE BAST- 
BEN LIMITS OF THE CITY OF MONTEEAL TO 
THE WESTEEN LIMITS OF SAID CITY. 
No. 339, Passed 3rd Of October, 1905. 
WOODEN BUILDINGS MUST NOT BK KEl'AIRKD. 
See 1 —No person shall repair any wooden iMiiMiug or part 
of any wooden building now existing on St. Cathor.ne Street 
from the Kiwtern limits to the Western limits of the City of 
Montreal. 

FRONTS OP BUILDINGS TO BK OP STONE, BRICK. 
IRON OR CONCRETE. 

See. i;. Every new building erected on the lots fronting on 

either side of St. Catherine Street, from the Eastern limits to the 
Western limits of the City of Montreal, shall have a frontage of 
ashlar or cut stone or eenient, of iron or presseil briek of the best 
quality, eapble of supporting a pressure of seven hunilrecl and 
fifty (TflO) pounds per square ineh or of any other durable 
or iniombustible material (to the exelusion of woo.l, woo.l and 
brick, wood and stone, wood cased with sheet iron, for external 
walls). Ornamental Terra Cotta or cement, may be use.l to 
ornament the frontage. The cornices shall be of sheet iron, 
copper, stone, brick or cement. 

NEW BUILDINGS NOT TO BE LESS THAN W FEET IN 
HEIGHT. 

Sec. 3. — The new buililings shall not be less than thirty-eight 
feet (38) feet, from the sidewalk to the top of the roof. 

NO FACTORY OR STABLE TO BE ALLOWED. 

Sec. 4. — It shall not be lawful to construct on the lots bor- 
dering upon and saiil St. Catherine Street, on either side there- 
of any factory, jirivate stable or livery stable, nor shall it be 
lawful to increase or extend any existing building to be used 
as such. 

MUST CONFORM TO BUILDING BYLAW. 

Sec. 5. — All huiMings hereafter erected or repaired in ac- 
cordance with the rules set forth in Buibliug By-law of 1901 
(No. 260), concerning buildings, and its amendments. 

PENALTY. 

Sec. 6. — Every person offending against any of the pr',vi- 
sions of this By-law shall be liable to a fine with or Without 
costs, and in default of immediate payment of said fine with or 
without costs, as the case may be, to an imprisonment to be 
fixed by the Recorder's Court, at its discretion; but such fine 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



4» 



shall not exceed forty (40) dollan, and the Iinprisonmcut shall 
not be for a longer period than two (2) calendar months; the 
said imprisonment, however, to cease at any time before the ex- 
piration of the term fixed by the Becorder's Court upon pay- 
ment of the said fine, or fine and costs, as the case may me ; and 
if the infraction is repeated, such repetition shall, day by day, 
constitute, upon summons or arrest, a separate offence. 



BT-LAW TO KEaTTLATE AND PROHIBIT THE MANUFAC- 
TUBE, STOBAOE, USE AND TBANSFOBT OF EXPLOSIVES 
AND HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS WITHIN THE 
CITY OF MONTREAL, AND TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS 
BY FIRE. THIS BY-LAW SHALL BE KNOWN 
AND MAY BE REFERRED TO AND CITED AS- 
"THE MONTREAL BY-LAW RELATIVE TO 
EXPLOSIVES AND COMBUSTIBLE MA- 
TERIALS OF 1906." 
No. 340, Passad Oth of October, 1906. 
EXPLOSIVES, OILS AND COMPOUNDS. 

Sec. 1. — No person shall have, keep, sell, manufacture, trans- 
port or give away any explosives or any oils or compounds, with- 
in the limits of the City of Montreal, except in quantities lim- 
ited, in the manner or upon the conditions herein provided and 
under such regulations as the Fire and Light Committee shall 
prescribe. 

FIREWORKS, EXPLOSIVES, ETC. 

Sec. 2. — No fireworks, detonating works, percussion caps, 
collodion, ether, or explosive compounds, shall hereafter be 
stored or kept lor sale or manufactured or transported in the 
City, except in such places, in such manner and in such quantities 
as determined by this by-law and until a permit has been grant- 
ed by the City Council, as hereinafter provided. 

MEANING OF TERMS. 

See. 3.- The term "Explosives," wherever used in this by- 
law, is intended to comprise all substances which by shock or 
application of heat are suddenly decomposed and converted 
into a gaseous form, the evolution of heat caused by the chem- 
ical reaction producing a sudden expansion of the gases formed 
and therebv an explosive effect. 

(a) The term "High Explosives," wherever used in this 
by-law, is intended to comprise explosives which are nitro-deri- 
vatives such as nitro-glycerine, nitro cellulose and all their com- 
pounds such as dynamite, rack-a-rock, cordite, all the various 



60 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



forins of smokelpss powders, the picratea and similar compounds 
which are characterised by great explosive effects from compa- 
ratively small quantities of the explosive compound. 

(h) The l^rnl "Combustible materials" means such highly 
combustible materials as soft and hard coal, shavings, petro- 
leum and other oils, lumber, cord wood, hay, stray and such 
chemicals as are comprised in sections regulating the use and 
storage of drugs and chemicals. 

(c) "Council" means the Council of the City of ilontreal. 

(d) "Person" means a person, accomi)anv or a bodv cor- 
porate. 

(e) "Inspector" means the Inspector of Buildings, for the 
City of Montreal, or his duly authorized representative 

.1, nV ''•-'''"','"'""■<'" "iPans the Fire and Light Committee of 
the City Council. 

MANUFACTURE OP OILS AND COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL 
Sec. 4.— No person ahall manufacture petroleum, nai.hta. 
benzine, kerosiue, gasoline, coal oil, turpentine, varnish, alJoho 
or other highly combustible material except in a fireproof 
building, the openings in which shall be fitted with fire-proof 
doors, a^ provi.led for in this by-law, and in which the opeuiZ 
iZ II ?" ventilation shall be placed in the roof; said^ build 
frL .fh. ^''i^* """"""^ "' ""'■'' '•^'Sht and at such distance 

T u'H^/ l-U'Idings as may be approved by the Inspector and 
such buildings shall not be erected or used until a pera uio 5o 
80 has been obtained from the Council, as hereinaft^er provided 

STORAGE, MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF OILS WD 

EXPLOSIVES. 

See. 5.— It shall not be lawful to store, manufacture or keen 

for .,ale any of the liquids aforesaid above the ground storevo? 

vided-for'^n'" V"''' *'"' f"' ''' ''^Pt "' 'tore^except asVo 

n^i:^icai,Tr;r„;r ra^.ti"iiZirt s^^^^ 
^aL-riTpttroU:""'^" ''^•^""<' ''" ^^^n^^^^ 

PERMIT TO STORE OR KEEP OILS OR EXPLOSIVES 

buil.lings where such Sd. „„J , '*'' "' ""^ '■'"'"" »' *>>» 
E#ECT,ON V fe^ER^ eTg'?S 'oi '^^^h^i ''''■ 

engrne,';7afoir;rs: 'XlirUlZ Tt^*^*"" """""» 
of five (5) horse nn^r.L/' ""?''."'"' electric, or other motor 

".i".fuUr^^-,rc^-i?----fCcSi-:: 



I 



CODE OF BriIJ)I\(i LAWS 

VA«D8 rOK STOHAG>^Or^,..MBKB, COHD-WOOD, „AV 

the "ora|e~or'Ue'or.i™ber"?:j ''""•'^' ""^ y"" •" '"* ^^ 
without havids f rst appHed to r„ P' '■".'»'"';•• h^.v or Mraw, 

..it to .,0 .. a» p™.'i,it;:u^ir/.:'i;:tr/'i',?/^L'!:'',;,r; 

PKKMKSSIOX FOR YARI.,S ORANTEO BY THE COUNCJl' 

■the ^tZ'Je'^T'^JTintZ '".""■"Py """ <" "">"• '0" for 
after 1,01^; gran 'l by h" Coun.'n 'f' n",''""°".'': ''"-^ " '"™'^' 
lowing comiition,: ^ ' '''"" '"' ""''J^" <» t''" 'o'- 

mSTAXCE PROM BI'ILDIXOS AND FENCES 

threeafVet^J^n'^hcwrin?' "."'T^ """" "" ?"'"' "''hin 

^ :^r^;=;tCTor Xr^^oE-- -p' '- 

TEMPORARY BUILDINGS 

hun.lre.l and twentv /oTi; [') "" ""'f "' ''»t more than one 
more thart4eTe''(,y;'';jrhig';,"::;:'or *'^ «'T^ -".I'-ot 

APPLICANTS MUST FURNISH A PLAN OF YARD 

or straw yard,, such plan, to be annexed'o hi^'a^'^lirti^,?. """• 
APPLICATION TO BE MADE TO COUNCIL. 

.„,. ■?'"''■ ^■—^j'y Pf""" wishing to erect or use a building or 
anv premises for the sale or storage of the articles descrfbe^l 

wist: to^«:er.' '»" '"'T'\"'' 'P^"'''«'> - »aid by raw, or who 
w sues to erect a steam boiler, steam engine furnace Ls caul 
0.1 gasol.ne, naphtha, electric or other motor of fWe' (f) 'ho?si 
power and oyer, sawmill, furniture factory, foundry, furniture 
.hop or blacksmith's shop, as described in tnis £y-law .hrm 
make an application in writing to the Council for perm^T^ion to 



62 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



do no and in said ftpplication shall describe the article to be 
sold or «;ored, and thVbuilding or premise, to be used for «ud 
sale or storage, or the steam boiler, steam engine, furnace, gas, 
ooal oil, gasoline, naphtha, electric or other motor of five (S) 
horse piwer and over, saw-mill, furniture factory, foundry, fur- 
niture shop, or blacksmith's shop proposed to be established, and 
the bcilding or premises in which thfc-- - re to be set up. 

APPLICANTS TO POST NOTICE A^D TO ADVERTISE. 

Sec 10.— The applicants for such permits shall give a*, 
least ten (10) days public of their intention lo apply to the 
Council, in at least two (2) newspapers (one French and one 
English), in which the notices of the City of Montreal usually 
appear, which notice shall also be placarded during ten (10) days 
on the lot, building or premises proposed to be used for said pur- 
poses, 80 that neighboring proprietors and residents and other 
interested parties may have an opportunity of opposing the 
granting of said application, and no such application shall be 
entertained by the (feuncil, unless notice of the same shall have 
been given as herein provideil and the petitioners shall have 
bciind themselves, in writing, to provide said steam boilers with 
smoke and gas consumers in order to efficiently free the same 
from smoke and all that may, in their use, be harmful for the 
public. 

APPLICATION TO BE REFEKBED TO FIRE AND LIGHT 
COMMITTEE AND THEI R1N8PECT0R. 

Sec. 11. — Upon the receipt of such application by the Coun- 
cil, it shall be referred to the Fire and Light Committee, and 
the Inspector shall inspect the premises or buildings or plans of 
the building in which it is proposed to sell or store the said ar- 
ticles, or in which it is proposed to erect or use a boiler, steam 
engine, furnaces, coal oil, naphtha, gasoline, electric or other mo- 
tor of five (.5) horse power and over, sawmill, furniture factory, 
foundry, furniture shop or blacksmith 's shop, and if satisfied 
that the said building or premises conform to the provisions of 
this by-law and are so built, or to be built, as not to endanger 
life or property, he shall issue a certificate to that effect to the 
('ouncil who may then, at their discretion, issue a permit or re- 
fuse to issue a permit for such sale or storage of said articles, 
or for the erection and use of such boiler, engine, furnace, gas, 
' coal oil, gasoline, naphtha, electric or other motor of five (5) 
horse power and over, saw mill, furniture factory, foundry, fur- 
niture shop or blacksmith's shop. 

FEES TO BE PAID FOR PERMITS. 

Sec. 12. — For every permit issued by the Council under the 
provisions of this by-law, the fees to be paid shall be those pro- 
vided in By-law concerning assessments, taxes and licenses. 

Sei'. 13. — The said fees shall be payable to the Treaiurei 



rODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



53 



o' the City of Montreal, upon a certificate of the Inspector of 
Buildinga. 

Sec. 14. — All premises issued under the provisions of this 
by-law shall be subject to the previsions of Bylaw concerning 
licenses. 

EXPLOSIVES, AGE OF PERSONS USING OB TRANSPORT- 
ING EXPLOSIVES. 

Sec. 15. — All persons employed in the transportation, sale, 
storage or use of explosives, shall not be less than sixteen (16) 
years of age. 

EXAMINATION OF PERSONS USING EXPLOSIVES. 

Sec. 16. — All persons applying for permits under thij by- 
law shall be examined, under the direction of the Inspector of 
Buildings, as to their knowledge of the provisions of this by- 
law. 

PROPERTIES OF EXPLOSIVES MUST BE KNOWN. 

Sec. 17. — Applicants must also show that they are fully 
informed as to the properties of the explosives proposed to be 
transported, kept, sold or used. 

KXPL081VES MUST BE KEPT IN IRON CARTS. 

See. 18. — All high explosives and explosives must be kept 
in approved iron cart or carts to be labelled on all sides with 
the words: "Powder to be wheeled out in case of fire" and 
"Pouilre, pour etre transportee en dehors en cas d'incendie. " 

ALL PARCELS MUST BE LABELLED. 

Sec. 19. — Every barrel, cask, canister, bottle, can, vessel, 
box or parcel in which explosives are sold and delivered shall 
be distinctly labelled with a printed sign or label, printed upon 
or firmly affixed thereto, lieserihing the article contained there- 
in with some words describing the dangerous character of the 
contents of such barrel, cask, cannister, bottle, can, vessel, box 
or j>areel. 

RULES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EXPLOSIVES. 
Sec. 20. — For the pvrposes of distribution or delivery of 
explosives, the vehicle o' conveyance shall be subject to the fol 
lowing provisions: 

(a) The explosives must be packed in the manner prescribed 
in rection 19 of this by-law. 

(b) No intoxicated person or person under sixteen (16) 
years of age shall be permitted upon such vehicle or conveyance. 

(c) Carelessness or recklessness in conducting or driving, 
loading or unloading such vehicle or conveyance must not be 
permitted. 

(d) None but safety matches shall be carried. 



64 



CODE OF IttriLDlNO LAWS. 



(V) The owmT or .IriviT of evi'ry nucli volii.lc or lonvey- 
aiico shall furnish copies of these rules to his employees, and 
shall also post copies iu Kreiich ami Ku({li»h of the same id 
some lonspicuous i>lace whore they lan be read. 

S.MOKIXG NOT ALLOWKl) VVIIKKK TIIKRE ARE 
EXPLOSIVES. 

Sec 21. — SmokiiiK, the making or keepiiiu of any fire, or 
the use of anv suhstanee for illuminatinK jmrposes. ex.ept g.is 
anil eleitrieity, will not he permitted iu rooms where explosives 
or oils ar)' stored. 

E.Xl'LOSIVES .NOT TO BE EXPOSED OS STREETS, 

S( 

place. 



.Sec. :;i'. — No explosives shall he sold or exposed for sale 
ujioii Miiy highway, road, street, public thoroughfare or public 



EXl'LO.sl\ KS TO BE IN PERFECT CO.NDITION. 

Sec. '2'.\. — No hi^h explosives not in ;)erfect condition shall 
be kept or sold. 

AUTOMOBILE STOBAOE AMD BEPAIB STATIONS. 

RILES FOR THE STORAGE OF NAPHTHA. 

Sec. 24. — In automobile, storage or repair stations, the stor- 
age of Naphtha (gasoline) shall be by one of the following 
methods only; (a) In a iron or steel tank of such design and 
construction as approved by the Inspector of Buildings, said 
tank to be buried underground with the top- at least two (2) 
feet beneath the surface, and the maximum amount stored 
therein shall not exceed two hundred and seventy-five (275) 
gallons and not more than one tank shall be permitted upon 
the same premises, (b) In approved sealed can, as hereinbefore 
proviiled, to a maxinuim not exceeding fifty (5(i) gallons. 

SALE OF NAPHTHA. 

Sec. 2,5. — No sale of Naphthas shall nc made in automo- 
bile storage or repair stations, except iu transaction of their 
regxilnr business in the way of filling tanks of automobiles, and 
no sale of these products in cans shall be made in such stat' ns 
in less amount than the entire contents of an original 8ei.ied 
and unbroken package. 

STORAGE OF NAPHTHA. 

Sec. 2(>. — Immediately upon receipt of Naphtha in such 
stations, the same, unless contained in cans, shall be transferred 
to the storage tanks in such manner as to prevent leakage or 
dripping of the liquid after the connecting pipe is remoed. 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



I 



HEOl'LATION.s FOK MTORAGK, SALE ANI> ls»K OK 
NAPHTHA. 

Sec. -', — No automobile .Htorage or repair station !*lial! n'- 
reive a permit for tiie storage, sale or use of Naphtha xuile-ts tlie 
followil)f{ precautionary rejfxilations I.e observeil: (ai Sainl .-tlmll 
l>e kejit in buckets fit au<l avilable for absorbiii^ waste oil that 
might fail upon the floor, iintl such saii'l, when ■<aturatO'l, >liall 
be removed to a safe place antl buriie<l free from oils. Tin* use 
of Hav;-(lust for this purpose is strictly prohibitcl. (In -^o 
naphtha shall be put into, or taken out of an automobile within 
fifty (50) feet of an open fire, nor until lumps or other appara- 
tus inten<ie<t to be carried upon the vehicle for illuuiinatiun pur- 
poses or as pilot light have been extinguisheil. (ei In n(» case 
shall naphtha be alloweil to fall upon the floor or to fall or jmss 
into the drainage system of the premises, (d) Naphtha shall 
not be earrieil in open vessels about the premises; if it is neces- 
sary to convey naphtha, it must l)e done in ajtproved closed 
cans or cans with an automatic closing device which shall ef- 
fectually close same, and of the capacity most closely ailnpted 
for filling the machine, but not exceeding five (5) gallons, le) 
If it is necessary to empty the tanks of automobiles, it shall 
only be done with the utmost precautions against fire, and the 
fluiil must be returned directly to the approved can or cans 
with the automatic closing device, which shall effectually dose 
same, (f) Buildings of this character shall be lighted only by 
enclosed electric lights, (g) Buildingp used as automobile stor- 
age or repair stations and where naphtha or gasoline is stored, 
shall not be utilized, in the upper stories, as loilgings public 
halls or meeting }daces. 

PKRMIT.S FOK AITOMOBILK STATIONS TO BK I.D.NKW- 
Kl) KACII YKAB. 

Sec. 2H. — I'erniits for automobile storage or repair stations 
must be obtained fron. the Council, as provided in seitiof '.', 
10 and 11 of this by-law, and shall be renewed each year. 

DIRECTIONS FOR UHK OF EXPLOSIVES IN BLASTlNfi 
OPERATIONS. 



directing blasting 
rtificate from the 



Sec. 2!i. — (a) Persons emi>loyed i 
operations shall be required to secure 
Inspector of Buildings, who will examine them as to their know- 
ledge of the use of exi>losives and of the provisions of this By- 
law and especially of the particular part of the same relating 
to explosives. 

(b) It is forbidden to use cartridges frozen or only partly 
thawed out. 

(■!) It is forbidden to warm frozen cartridges by ilirect 
exposure to fire, bv keeping them before fire places, by keeping 
them on stoves or" in ovens, or by laying them on hot ashes. 

(d) It is required that frozen cartridges shall be returned 



M 



OODK OI' BUILUJNO LAWS. 



to the forrman in chiirKP ami Hhall not lii> re iaiiut'il for iiia 
until they are thorout(hly thawi'il out. 

(e) It in ri'i|uirf<l. in thawinjf out frozi'ii lii|{li <'xiilu«ive«, 
that the bettt and safeHt niethotlN Hhull lie ui>Herve>l, 

(f) It in lorbiililen to attr jit to lireiik or . ut iartriil){ei 
entirely or partly fro/en. 

(K) It in forhiililen to prime more cnrtri.lKeii with I'usei 
ni <l <letonator» thau are aitually needed at the moment, or to 
keep on hand itui-h printed rartriil}(eN. 

(h) It in forbiilden to "bring home" the tamping bv pow- 
erful atrokes. 

(i; It in forbidden to approach a drill hole oharge which 
failed to explode without waiting at leant ten (10) minutes 
I'onnted from the time of netting fire to its fu»e. 

(j) It ia requireil, in ease an atteniii? to fire a " miniicd 
blaat ' by means of exploding a a»-ong jirimer on top of it ia 
unsucceasful, that a new hole be dnded not neiiier than twelve 
(1^) inehes from the first one, and a fresh c harge put in (that 
being the safest method), the explosion of which » ill be p.ob- 
ably be communicated to the first charge, or if it ia not, will at 
least disloilge it. But the distance between these holes must bo 
ivcreaaed if there ia any reason to believe that the uitroglvce- 
r.ne mixture of the first charge has apread laterally. 

(k) It ia forbidden, in case the exrdosion of a charge does 
not carry away the whole drill-hole, leaving the lower part in- 
tact, to use the remaining part of the old drill-hole as a startina 
point for a new drill hole. " 

(1) It is forbidden to allow persona under aixteen (16) 
years of age, -ir who are ineAjierience,! to be in the vicinity of 
hand magazines or to handle such explosives 

(ni) It is required that to ensure the safety of surroudine 
property and of persons in the vicinity, n. greater charge shall 
ever be used than is neces.sary to properly start the work 

»„v 'r . '" '^l!"\r:^ ""** •''" "'■"vation work contiguous to 
any structures shall be so carried o: ,s not to cause aiiv dam 
age to such structures. To secure this, weak walk, etc., or such 
structures must be shored up, and all rotten or de.'ompose.l rock 
mus be removed by use o. gads, pieks an,l crowbars only. When 
blasting next to such structu cs is unavoidable, light fn.-.e bla^st" 
only, with short lines of resistance an dsmall charge s'lall he 

.„ 1 *K* '.' '" "■I"''''''' 'hat in the neighborhood of roads houses 
caref^nr''" '"'"'■,'' "'"J '•" ''«■"*««'' ''-V blasts, the sl,ot.s ;i iiTl be 
carefully eovered (preferably with brish mat resses.f, seines and 
the like) and the charges be so reduced in si:-o t Li . fi- 
about of debris shall be possible. Re, f aLs s mil ^^ . . '"? 
reasonable distance from "the blait on'll 'X "a t . m'; e"'" a1 
to ^iye »?"'"• '"" <^> """"""» •""'<"" 'he explosfon ak'es p ae" 



<W)Eopiini,r)i.\(i LAWS. 



W 

AM ■•LA8TS TO BK WELL <OV;.^aM. CIIAINEI,. 
Hp,. .1(1— In Hll ,.»„.„ „, |,la»tinK w -iMn th.> Citv of Mnn. 

»...». ti„ to h.. .-over,.,! with ,Lvn „° ,,| 'r , ',. ', ', r.h"' 

» u.n..r to ,,rov„l,. aK«in»t ,t«n., I..m„k ».-att..r..,| ,?,,„', 
wl,..n. tl,...v miKhl 0M,i«„^,r IIm- aii.l i.roperty. 

|i>W1-;kh AM) DI-TIK-S OF TIIK IXSI'ECTOK TO ENTEH 
KnLI)I.V(is OK LOTS. 

l.er..|,.v .;nil.ow..r.-.l, «t any nn,l all tin».». to .Mitor into «n,l ex- 
annnv all |..iil.linK» au.l lot» wIhto any nK.rtl.andi»,., gLiniiow 
d.T. luMnp flax tow, Imy, »,.-aw. ru«h..», lumber, timl'r, fire 
woo, 1 l,o«r,K « hinKles .oal, «l,ttvinK». or other combu.tible ma- 
■r.als may be o.Ik.^,1 or »'ore,l. for the ,,ur,,oie of ascertaining 
.11 Molations ol any of the |,rovi,iou» of thin b%-.|aw an.l al«o 
the ].laie» where ashes niuy be (le|io»ite(l. 

REGl-LATI0.\8 ^'OXCERMNG ACETYLENE. 

8eo. .t:;.— Acetylene nieters. small Acetylene generatinff 

a|.|.nratus of the capacity not exceeiliug two (2) pounds of 

(ale. urn (arbi.le. and portable Acetylene generati.ig apparatus 

Mich as used by competent persons for stereopti. „n ami other 

"'i";"."! purposes. ., ylenp „„,| |,a,„. ,a„„.r„H and Ace 

t.v <.e torch lights, shall be exempteil fron. the iirovisions of 
h.s section, provided any portable Acetylene gi-neratinit or 
hobl.nK apparatus which does not conform to the provisions of 
this section, so far aa they apidy shall not be permitted fo- 
l.ght.ng any buiMiug. 

(A) Nc acetylene generating or holding apparatus shall he 
..'Stalled, or repaired after it has once confined this gas with- 
out the assistance of an experienced person holdir" a license 
Iron, the Insiiector of Buildings theijfor. 

(B) All apparatus to be used for generating or holding 
Acetylene shall be so constructed, locate.l and used, as to se 
cure the greatest n easure of safetv according to the herein 
g.ven rules and as may be prescribcii .y the Insnc 'tor of Build- 
ings. 

1.— Such apparatUii sl,all be made of suffieicntlv strong 
material and sufficiently good workmanship to insure "stabilitv 
and durability. 

t'T^° unallc 1 copper and no fragile or unstab:^- mater- 
ial shall be used in constructing or connecting such apparatus. 

3.— The air space in any generating chamber of such appa- 
ratus shall be reduced to such dimensions, that the proportions 
of air in the Acetylene stored therefrom shall H constitute a 
dangerous mixture while the apparatus is in operation. 

4. — Excessive pressure within and escape of gas from the 
apjiaratus must be guarded against by approved means. 



r.H 



c-ODKoK mir,ni.\(i lawh. 



V-l'rovi^ioi. imiHt I,., ma.lc to KUHr.l ni;iiiii«t .Unit.>rou. 

,lr„i,f~ ^" V-'''''','"' .K''""'""'' »'"'" '"• fitte.l with .ohtmuou. 

n I .■nMt,.,t,„„H l..a,l,„„ t.. «.w..r without ,„,.«„» to , rev.nj 

""> .""•'i»»;'lv'"l ••urhi.l.. from |,a»»i.iK to ,Hi,| „.„,.r '"'*"" 

..--H.'liff- or »afot.v blow of f» of H|,prov..,| tor.ii shiill l,e 

!""> I "i"l >"i.M.-.ti..l with an i'»rap. |,i|„. „ff";,i"" f„^ 

v.nt to t... ouf.r air. an,| friMinatin^ i', n ' n, „' . hoo,l lo 

.liiv i;,ri,t I.;.i iniitnlli'il mi rooms nrov ilpil with 

perm,,in«frl:eT;::ul„t^ V^a' h:ui:';Ui,''.?'7 '-"'•'''»''''• 

(I)- No ,,or«on shall take oh, r Jo of n .\ f'l '"■'•*"»»'}•. 

'"j; or hol,lin« ai.pan.tUH until h „r I A'^etyhMu- Kcncrat- 

'ru.t „ its op. uti„ f," i, l°'( "' '""' ''?'" l'f"!'"ly in 

I- nspi, uou,l • „„„u'i it ,1 n '^"' """'t.' rules hi ,hall 

nn.l Fr,.,,..h 1«„kuC!, "" "''I""-'""" room i„ to. tJuglish 

or .•ar,.l..ss persons Kvo^-v «. ". . '''" '" *""' '-''iUren 

-lows an,l ,lo„rs must ho o^e.lin,^: ::r « ''■«!<, win- 

■ :!r;-io^;^^ :l:;r;■i'^^i^ S'vi^f l^::ii:r""'^'»" 

tus or pipo for loalfs with a ?famePam "r \T"'«'^' "PP"« 
su.njr from an outlet not provided witH 1 *" '"'*^ Aooytlene is- 

«f the nppa.-atus nnlv i,„* „,„..' -V ',K "' "" »»''■'■ m anv 



para 
frost 



no ai.pa.-atus only hot waf, shn 1 !,„ 'i ?"*" '" »■'>• P'^t 
5.-.U1 ,ho l,„ui,l., shaTlo ro,?"v d fr"' ^"^ *!'*"""« »""■■ 
.."- intondea to remain idle To'f'or ^'amTTh:!! tr^^/r: 



thereof 



ti.— AM Acotyleno gonerati 



expo.sed to 



•ontaot with the gas, sh 



inR or holdj 
lall be 



in« 



apparat 
removed outsid 



parts 
le and 



(•or)KopBuir,ni\,i ,,,vvvM. 

•■r>iii|,|..t..|y ,i||,,,| „.i„, 

r-.,u,n„« ,),.. ,„„ ,„ „ ,„„ ,„.!, „,„,, I',;,'',,;;;;:: 

-....nor,', I,.., «„, ,.„,;;,':!; ::,.;;;;|:■•;:,7;..:';?.".'^;■''•.' i- • 



'ti''h II Hay that 
I't'iiri' liny n'|mir 



""";!„"■;" •" r ■''■"'"«•■""•"'"'"».■,,.,;;:"' """ '" 

■■'^.T p-i".,.,,,!.. I,,..;;., : „^ ..::«'""' ;,',,„:"' ■ ■;: '•' 

Mllvr IMTIII ItihL' till' in « 1,. ..,. ""'""I til liHM. „ ,.„,,|, „^ 

"•''■'" '''" K- it .'... h,m,';,; ' '""'"^ ■'"' " "' -'" t"i... 

•t.H of thi. Citv! • "'""'"tely . ol„l,it,.,| «i„„„ „,., ii„, 

..^etv^m.TS;;i,;n:"::!i"r;?;..i"";''r"""5- """«" "'"i '■"•• •■'• 

:z;!::!l:: '^'"■'" •"•• '■■-• -"^eV;;;"' r'^ j;:: 

-"inii,^'„T';,::rT riir'?"""""/'" "- "^ '■■•• •"■"<' - 
'■''•%r''^r^{- vr; .v;;;jr':;r^:;;i:' ,;-• ^ 

»t«ra«.!'„i; h;';;;;;.';UMi':'h;r' ':»""■' ";""•'"''••■ "i'.^- »■■" - 

anil plainlv rmrkol ..Oalc/Z^ o^ii.;'''''';! '^"'' f-W'tailf,. 

n.SK AXn STORAOK OF DRUCH AND CIlKMIfALS. 

no»s1;;^i;"-n,V „,^° 'If"""' fi'"' ■"•. '■<"-I'"»ti''" »l'nll .1.. busi 



so 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



ary sale of drugs and chemicals in large quantities, lots or pack- 
ages. 

(4) No permit shall be granted for more than one (1) 
building; separate permits shall be required for separate build- 
ings, except where they are contiguous and united by openiags 
in the walls, so as practically to constitute one building for ad- 
ministrative purposes. 

(5) It is absolutely prohibited to have on sale or storage 
in wholesale drug stores any of the following substances: 

Colored fire in any form. 
Liquid acetylene. 

Flash light powders in any form. 
Acetylene of copper. 
Fulminate of Mercury. 

Fulminating gold and silver or any other fulminate or ful- 
minating compound. 

Nitroglycerine, except in any medical solution. 
Chloride of Nitrogen, or any Amide or amine explosive. 
Gunpowder in any fprm. 

Cymogene or any volatile product of petroleum or coal tar 
having a boiling point lower than sixty (60) degrees Fahren- 

Chloride of potash in admixture with organic substances or 
with phosphorous or sulphur. »iu»i,»iii,es or 

Provided that this restriction shall not apply to the manu- 
inaTni^nJ^/?^ °* tablets of Chlorate of pjtash made, kept 
and intended for use solely for medicinal purposes. 

(6) If the owner, manager, or proprietor of any druB store 
receives or stores on the premises cSveVed by a pemit™!v ex 

£i?Z.IV,.^r'"""''i'- »»'!«""'«» «» specified in SchediHe 1 
not specifically named in his permit, or keeps a quantity of any 
explosive or combustible substance as so defined in excess of 
that flowed by the terms of his permit, or allows the premises 
h„ L„ ?'•"' »"""?**« condition by reason of neglect of any of 
the provisions of these regulations, he shall be notified bv the 
Inspector of Buildings or the official appointed ?o that Tffec? 

fn f„'*J!''i?*""'' """^ '" ""« »* "» continuance shall be "able 
to forfeit the permit as a penalty for such violation 

of Jhlh^it Z^"^''-'"'}^ ^""^ '*»" ''"="*«'i i» a building no part 
mVbe kept" fTe c?t'v''h"-J^''°''' *"" ^""""''"^ '^bstZll 
oZr^l^ %Xt:/io\il e«?cf "pprove""oif?he" ""^ 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



<1 



SCHEDULE "A" 

AeidB. Pounds, Carboys. 

Muriatic 10 

Bttlphoric 5 

Nitric .... 5 

Picric 10 

Cbromie 100 



Volatile combustible liquids. 



Pounds. OalloQS. Barrels. 



Ethers 1,000 

Collodion 200 

Acetone .... 

Ethyl Alcohol 

Methyl and methylated alcohol 

Amyl Nitrite 25 

Turpentine 

L>isulphide of Carbon 100 

Rhigolene 12 

Benzole 

Tuluol 100 

Amyl Alcohol 

Amyl Acetate 

Naphtha — (iasolene, boiling point 

130 degrees F 

Benzine, boiling point 140 deg. F 

Heavy Naphtha, boiling point 160 

degrees F 



50 



10 
10 



10 



Combustible Liquids. 

Pounds. Barrels. Drums. 

Nitrobenzole .... 5 

Coal tar oil 5 

Aniline oil .... 5 

Essential oils 5,000 .... .... 

Olycerine 5,000 

Varnishes, Japans, etc 5 .... 



Salts. 

Pounds. 

Nitrate ot Soda 2,000 

Chlorate of Potash 1,000 

Saltpetre 2,000 

Chlorate of Sodium 100 

Chlorate of Baryta 100 



Barrels. Drums, 



^'^ CODE OF BUIL DING LAWS. 

Combustible Solids. 

„, , Pounds. Barrels. Drums. 

Phosphorus in water . . inn 

Sulphur •:•. 

Pitch •■■ ^^ 

Rosin ? 

Tar ■;. ? 

Burgun.ly Pitch .. ,, j(|q,', ' 

Venice Turpentine '200 

-Metallic Potasium jq " ' 

Sodium ^Qo ■ • • ■ 

„. '' Magnesium jqo 

/.me Dust (Blue Powder) . rn 

Excelsior ' ' 

Lamp Black ■ ■ ■ • 25 

Vegetable Charcoal . . 5 

Lycopodium ... ' " iAA * ■ ■■• 

Oakum ^"'' 

Cotton i .•^- ■ ■ ■■ 10 

Soluble Cotton ..'.'.:.' ' ^ 

Substances reacting with water. 

Carbide of Calcium . . ^"^"^^ '*"'■«''• 

Phosphides "° 

Quicklime . . " 

2 

Liquids under pressure. 

Ammonia 

Carbonic Acid ^ cylinders. 

Sulphurous Acid . . .. ? )' 

•'•SIS " - =cai-.r.",c; - ■- 

Alcohol in barrels. 
Acetone in barrels 

n*,"!*^.'" ^^"^"O »' 50 lbs. 
Collodion m excess of 50 lbs 
Turpentine in barrels. 

Bro^l'etn trX"'' '" — "^ ^0 lbs. 

Coal tar oil in barrels. 
Aniline oil in drums. 
I'l.vcerine in excess of 200 lbs 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



63 



Varnishes, Japans, etc., in barrels 

Phosphorous in excess of 5 lbs. 

Sulphur in barrels. 

Pitch in barrels. 

Kosin in barrels. 

Tar in barrels. 

Burgundy pitch in excess of 50 lbs. 

Venice turpentine in excess of 10 lbs. 

Potassium in excess of 1 lb. 

Sodium in excess of 1 lb. 

(SI) The City, by its Inspector of Buildings or any other 
duly authorized officer, may at any time grant supplementary 
permits for larger quantities than those mentioned in the fore- 
going Schedule "A", in places where buildings may be located 
and may have been so especially constructed and arranged for 
lessening danger, that life and property are more secure than by 
the storage of the above spe.ified maximum quantities in build- 
ings of the usual location and type. 

(10) No accumulation of broken wood, paper or other com- 
bustible eases or packages shall be permitted inthe cellar or 
other part of the premises where goods are unpacked. Such 
matters shall be removed at the close of each day O' kept in a 
yard or other safe place. 

(U) No rags or cotton waste shall lie used for cleaning 
around pans or floors where oil is customarily drawn from bar- 
rels. .\"o oiled rags or cotton waste shall be kept in any other 
position than inside a metal receptacle. 

(IL'i Sand or infusorial earth shall be provided for absorb- 
ing waste oil from floors, and accumulations of oil soaked saml 
or eartli shall not be permitted. 

(1.1) Smoking shall be strictly prohibited in cellars and 
packing rooms of drug houses, and the owner or proprietor shall 
take all possible precaution against fire. 

PENALTY. 



Section ,34. — Every person offending against any of the 
provisions of this By-law shall be lialile to a fine with or 
without costs and in default of immediate payment of saiil 
fine with or without costs, as the case may be, to an imprison- 
ment, the amount of said fine and term of imprisonment to be 
fixed by the Recorder's Court of the City of Montreal at its 
discretion; but such fines shall not exceed forty (40) dollars and 
the imprisonment shall not be for a longer period than two (2) 
calendar mouths; the said imprisonment, however, to cease at 
any time before the expiration of the term fixed by the said 
Recorder's Court upon payment of the said fine, or fine and 
costs, as the case may be ; and if the infraction is repeated such 
a repetition shall, day by day, constitute, upon summons or 
arrest, a separate offence. 



«4 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



REPEAL 
ri-pealed. I'rovuions of this by-law, are hereby 

t',1 r '"''^hf^LtutHf "Ja^Lr or'aA'^^ l''"^ inconsistent 
"hall be null and without effect ■" '^™^""e "f Queber 



No. 345, Adopted the 21rt of November 1905 

BUILDINGS TO BE AT LEAST THREE STOREYS IN 
HEIGHT. 

BUILDINGS TO BE ERECTED IN ACCOBDAXCE WITH THE 
BUILDINGS LAWS. '^ ""^H THE 

an.e''«-^ih'tle''ru.;"''et''?rrth1i''th^''«''''!".'''' ""'^'1 i" accord- 
an-i Its amendments '" ""^ B>"''ling By-Law (No. 260) 

PENALTY. 



\ 



OODE^OP BUILDING LAWS. ^ 

"""^^ «^°'^S"™'* "= BBBOnON OF BUauWGS 
ON ST. HOTBBT 8TBBET, PEOM 8HEEBEOOKB 
• STBIBET TO MODKT EOYAl AVENUE. 

No. 346, Adopted the 27th November 190S. 
RriLI>..\08 TO BE TWKLVE FEET FROM STREET LINi;. 
He,: !•— Xo person, firm, syndicate, company or corooralio., 
whatsoever shallheroafter ere/t or buil.l or cause to Kec- e 
l,u,lt o„ the frontage of St. Hubert Street, on the East an 
West sKles, fron. Sherbrooke Street to Mount Royal Avenue an v 
l.u,l,l,„K or house, at a distance „f h-ss than t«eUr(I2) fee, 
f on, the homologate,! line, th- space so reserved to be free from 
oil true ure., with the exception of balconies, stoops aid ,taT« 
Said section not to apply to buildings on corner lots. 

' BriLDIN-aS TO BE AT LEAST TWEXTY-PIVE FEET ].\ 
I HEIGHT AND TO BE IN ACCORDANX'E WITH 

I BUILDING LAWS. 

.Sec. 2.--The buildings hereafter -rected on sai<l St. Hubert 
8 ree 'tn'Mn^' .^p'' T^ ^^^* '"'«« '"ercof, from Sherbrooke 
fIZ ■",-. Jf^"* K-'y'l.' Avenue shall not have less than twentv- 
„f th." iif "> height from the level of the sidewalk to the tip 
or the roof, and the same shall be so erected or renaired in 
accordance with bylaws in force. repairea in 

PENALTY. 
Sec. .(.— Any person violating or contraventing any of the 
ni'^'IT I *'"■ P';*^^'" bylaw shall, upon conviction thereof 
before the Recorder's Court of the City of Montreal be liable to 
a fine with or without costs, an.l in default of immediate pav- 
•.ent ot said fine, or of said fine and coiits, as the case iniv 
. c, to an imprisonment, the amount of said fine and the term of 
said imprisonment to be fixed by the said Recorder's Court, at 
Its discretion; but such fine shall not exceed forty dollars, kn.l 
the imprisonment shall not be for a 'onger period than two 
calendar months; the said imprisonment, however, to eease a? 
anj time before the expiration of the term fixed by the sai.i 
Recorder's Court upon payment of fhe said fine, or fine and 
costs, as the case may be, and if any infringement of this by- 
law be repeated, such repetition shall ,day after day, constitute 
upon summons or arrest, a separate offence. 



66 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



BT-LAW OONOEBinNa THE EBEOTION OF BUILDDTOS 

ON OEBTAIN 8TBBETB IN 8T. HENBT WABD. 

No. 368, Adopted fith July, 1906. 

Sec. 1. — It shall not be lawful to construct, occupy and 
maintain any factory or livery stable or other similar place of 
businesB, nor shall it be lawful to fit up or repair auv existing 
buihlings to be used as such, on the following streets, liamelv :— 

( 1 ) Repealed and replaced by By-law No. 429, Sect 1 )' 

(la, See By-liw No. 434, Sec. 1. 

(lb) Sec By-law No. 434, Sec. 1. 

(Ic) See By-law No. 434, Sec. 1. 

(M) See Bylaw No. 434, Sec. 1. 

(2J The East side of St. Ferdinanil Street; West side of 
p°"b^^ Street; both sides of St. Peter, Metcalfe, Agn*. Street, 
Park Terrace, Park Avenue and Annie Street, fronV St. James 
to »t. Antoine Street. 

II ''LI ^"l* ?"'* ■'''* ""' ^^'"'t "'J* 0' Beaudoin and Deli- 
nelle Streets, between the Lachine Canal and the G T R Com- 
pany's tracks, and all, the streets presently existing or which 

Be«^;.l"'s/",''t.'"'i"i't'"^ "'""■> ">« ^"tri«t bonded by 
and fhe^ f «et, the 0. T. R. Company's tracks, Delinelle Street 
and the Lachme Canal. 

Sec. ^—Kvery person offendiiig against any of the nrovi 
sions of th,:, bylaw shall be liable to a fine, witlTor without 
costs, and in default of immediate payment of said fine ^th or 
without costs as the case may be, to an imprisonmenT the 
amount of said f ne and the term of imprisonment to be fixed In 
W ^uTl"" ^"n" °' '"" ^'*y "f '«»""«>" "t its dl"ret[ol•• 
,niL 1 11 1 f*"*!' ""* "^"^^^ 'orty dollars, and the imDrison: 

'■■•^^r aL^o'VTaVZT-' "s'ec";?'' ' ''^"''"' ""^^ " 



BY-LAW TO EEQUIATE THE CONSTE0CTION OF 
BUILDINOS ON OUY STEEET. 
No. 359, Adopted 9tli July 1906. 

eithe^'"sideTf^of,7«';'"^.''"l'''ir! ""'^^'^ <"' t''" '"'^ f™"itii« O" 
s one or cement ^orfn' f^^ have a frontage of ashlar or%ut 

.■apabl/of?urpor.rng™ pressS'rrrf 75o'lb,*" ""' '"* ""f"^' 
of BTiv ntiio, A. 1,1 prcure or lOO lbs. per square inch, or 



si 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



«7 



slifft-iron for externnl walls). OrniimiMitnl Terra Cotta or i .■ 
riicnt may be used to oriiaineiit the froiitajif. The lornires slmll 
he of Hhoetiron, eopjier, atone, l)rick or eemeiit. 

Se<-. 2.— Any person violating or eontraveninx any of the 
provisions of the present bylaw shall, upon conviction thereof 
before the Recorder's Court of the City of Montreal, be liable 
to a fine with or without costs, and in default of immediate 
payment of said fine or of siii.l fme and eosts. as the ea«e may 
be. to an ii -irisonennit, the amount of sai.l fine and the term of 
said fine and the term of sniil improvement to be fixeil by the 
said Recorder's Court, at its ilisiretion; but such fine shall not 

"^i' 1 'o^t.v ilollars, and the imprisonment shall not be for a 

longer period than two calemlar months; the said imprisonment 
however, shall cease at .-mv time before the expiration of tin 
term fixed by the said Recorder's Court upon pavment of the 
saiil fine, or fine and costs, as the case may he, and if any in 
fringinent of this by law be repeated, such repetition shall," dav 
by day, constitute, upon summons or arrest, a separate offence. 



BY-LAW TO AMEND BY-LAW No. 260 ENTITLED 
MONTREAL BUILDING Ei'-LAW OF 1901." 

No. 388, Adopted the 17th December, 1908., 



THE 



Sec. 1. — Section 22 of bylaw No. 260 entitled "The Mon- 
treal Building By-Law of 1901", is amended by adding to para- 
graph (c) the following words: 

"The provisions of this paragraph (c) shall apply within 
the limits of St. Andrew ward." 



BY-LAW CONCERNING THE ERECTION OF BXnLDINOS 

WITHIN THE LIMITS OF MOUNT ROYAL WARD 

OF MONTREAL. 

No. 391, Adopted 13t hAprU, 1909. 

(Repealed and replaced by By-Law No. 441>) 

(See Bylaws .N'os. 4(lH, 444 and 44i».) 



BUILDINO BY-LAWS FOR LAURIER WARD. 

Extracts fiojn "An Act to amend the charter of the town of 
St. Louis", 9 Ed. Vn. Chap. 88, Assented 29th 

May 1909. 

Sec. 1. paragraph 9h. — "The town of St. Louis, with its 
teritorial limits as established by its charter, shall be annexed 
to the citv of Montreal on the thirty-first day of Deceineber 
1909. 



t8 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



9i. The town of St. Louis shnP form o e of the wardii of 

the City of Montreal, under the name of "Laurier WartJ." 

92 All bylawa governing the town of St. Louie shall con- 
tinue to have their full effect after its annexation until 
ropealed, amended, set aside or fulfilled. 



BT-LAW BEBPBOTINO THE BE8TBI0TI0NS IUP08ED FOB 

THE EBEOTION OF BUILDJ(NOS IN THE VABIOUS 

WABDB OB 8TBEETB OF THE TOWN OF ST. 

LOUIS, WITH A VIEW OF PUBUO 

SBOTTBITT AND OENEBAI. 

EMBEUiISHMENT OF 

THE TOWN. 

Ko. 139, Adopted 7th June 1907. 
(See Addenda) 

SFECIAIi BEBTBICTIONB IN LAUBIEB WABD ON FABE 
AND MOUNT BOTAL AVENUES. 

Cbap. 67, 3 Edward Vn. Aaaentad 25tli April 1903. 

Secfinn 9.— The following section is inserted in the Act .'59, 
Victoria, Chapter 55, section 44. 

44. — On Park Avenue, between Mount Royal Avenu! and 
Bernard Street, all the houses and buildings shall be built of 
solid brick or stone, with a front of pressed brick, and be not 
less than two and a half (2 1-2) stories high, and not, less tlian 
ten (10) feet from the homologated line, and no one shall bo 
oliowed to build or keep therein any shops, stores, factorie:*, 
hotels or restaurants of any kind whatever. 

On Mount Boyal Avenue between Esplanade Street and 
Cdte St. Catherine Boad, all the houses and buildings shall bu 
erected at a distance of five (5) feet from the homologated line, 
and be of at least two and a half (2 1-2) stories in height, and 
no one shall be allowed to build or keep therein any shops, sto- 
ries, factories, hotels or restaurants of any kind whatever. (As 
amended by Act 4, Ed. VII, ch. 57, art. 2.) 

With a view of complying with the requirements of the 
foregoing paragraphs, the Council may purchase or acquire any 
house, building or structurb already erected on any of the above 
mentioned avenues, either by mutual agreement between the 
town and the proprietors or by expropriation. 



BUILDINQ BY-LAW FOE AHUNTSIC WABD. 

Extrc-^ts from "An Act to amend the Charter of the Oitjr of 

Montreal' ' Chap. 48, 1 George V, Assented 4th June 1910. 

Sec. 1., Paragraph 15, (g). — The municipality of the village 

of Ahuntsic with its territorial limits shall be annexed to tho 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. rt» 

city and shall form a ward under the name of "AhuDtnic 
Ward. ' ' 

The building by-law bearing number .17 of *he Haid muniri 
paiity of the village of Ahuntsie Hhall remain m force during 
the period of five (5) years from the date of annexation. 



H 
fe 



At a meeting of the Montreal City Council held on loth 
October 1912, it was resolved: "That the Council delegat*'?* 
his powers, respecting the granting of building permits, accord- 
ing to Bylaw No. 37 of the ex-municipality of the villagf of 
Ahuntsic, to the City's Superintendent of Buildings." 

BT-X.AW BESPECTIKa THE EBSOTION OF BtTIIJ>mo& 
Ko. 37, ADOPTED 2l8t JXmE 1007. 

Sec. 1. — No person will perform or cause to bo perfoinii'd 
any work of any kind for the erection or alteration of build tigs 
vrithin the limits of the municipality, without having dcpositrd 
a" the office of the Council the plans, specifications and st^ite- 
ment of ap[roximate value of such building and after all imvi- 
been approved by ard found to conform to the present bylaw, 
the Council will grant a building permit signed by the Mayor 
and countersigned by the Engineer or auy other person ap- 
pointed by the Council. Then and only, the work will be com- 
menced and done under the supervision of the official appointed 
by the Council of the Municipality. The charge for such permit 
will be two dollars (^$2.U0). 

Sec. 2. — To obtain a permit, it is necessary to use the printed 
form, furnished by the Council, said form to be filled out by 
the applicant, signed by him and deposited at the Council. 

Sec. 3. — No factory, abbatoir, warehouse, public stable, car 
bam, power house, mill, wood or coal yard, or any other structure 
of the same nature will be erected, occupied or used within th<- 
limits of the municipality unless these structures are project d 
to be ercted south of the Forty-fifth (45th) street, which cros- 
ses the municipality from East to West, and this, subject to t'le 
approbation of the Council, who shall determine the location 
where such structure can bu erected. 

Sec. 4. — Stores, butcher shops, and other buildings for busi- 
ness purposes must be of a value of not less than fifteen hun- 
dred dollars ($1500) and to have at least two stories and may 
be erected on the street line and of the full width of the lot on 
which it is erectc' but only on the public road crossing the 
municipality from South to North and leading to the bridge 
"Pont Viau" which road is specially considered as a commer- 
cial street. 

See. 5. — All buildings for residential purposes which will be 
erected in all parts of the municipality at the South of the 
public road as far as Forty-Fifth (45th) street, from East to 
West of the Municipally, excepting, however on the public 



70 



CODK OK BUILDING LAWS. 



rou,l „„.„(i,„„.,| i„ M,.,tion 4, „l,Bll |,«v.. „„t |..,,,t than two 
(.) Mtori..» Bii, vBluo.l at on.. tlioiu.an,| ,l,,llars (i|.l.(HMh, erectcil 
TnK. at .lit."'" '""' """' •*" ■*"•" ""' "•' "■''''•" •»'•" """'I 

h« n™!;;/i*' V "^'.l ''"i''"u "" '"' ""i'l''"!!"! purpo.,., whi.h will 
W...t -hri ."','' .°^ ""' P"*'"" """^- ™»"i«K from Ka»t to 

fl™ .V ■! ■'"'„"'"'" •«■ <?recto,l at at loam twontv (20) fept 
from tho street linr of the itroet on which thoy «r,. Lit Bv 

permit W en a h. iW^l™ ■ *';" "PI'''"""' f«r the Imilding 
Se,. B Wk .. '^"^ ^''*' f'""' the street line 

of -o^i, b;:;^':';!! '^h^Yr^riri'eHnr-^ buii^,r„i"i^; ,„iu 

brick or stone. immediately veneered in woo.l, 

building, '^hTn^'l^rapply^^^^lt^itL^n"'''''"?' ''PP'^'"^ "" ""^ 
of existing buildinm which c»l » k ' f""""'""" ana repairs 
in»s unless that thfv rhall c^^? * '"' "'^""' ■""' "«'» b'lild- 
Sec. 8.-When a bnifJL„ " "•"" '=»'"P'«'ely to this bylaw, 
oial appointed by the eornorat^„ n'" "?,""•'"' "' ""'''O" "le offi- 
nof to be in conformity wfththf-K, "'°^"' '* """^ '* *<"""> 

v^'i^o":to"p^z'r/•'-" --- 

an.eS,^t ^^ ^iZ^^^.!':,^^:^:"" "« abrogated or 

by.aw !» I.7we"^fo'rrh"?iXfon"?f*i%''''P-'"»- "^ ">» 
twenty ,lollar» ($20.00) or an imt,- " ^'"'' "o* exceeding 

(■■'0) .lays for each offence ""P"™""""-' "ot exceeding thirtf 
days for each offence. 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



71 



■niLDWO BYIAWB OP NOTBB DAME DB OBAOBB 
WABO. 



Extract! fron> 
Montrul.' 



"^.n*«*°, S'"* »• OWt*' of til* Olty of 
Olup. 48. 1 0«orga V, Amn' to Jnae 
Ith, 1910. 

f~::r ,!,.p7,x 'r,;.-;'s ';r7.;,7K-,t.«."".£ 

„f V- .'■ ■;■— T^"', ^^ '»" r."»|)wtin({ huildinm iii the aaid town 
of N..tr...I anio de Oraoes ,h«ll rr.nain in fore" until amemW 
or roKal.M for the .aid XotreDame ,1c Gr.°e, Ward' "'"'"'''"' 



BYLAW "BOOT^TWO 00N8TEU0TI0K IN THE TOWN 
OF NOTBE-DASfB DE OBACES. 



No. 63, Adopted 18tli Dacambor 1909. 



46.1, 



NOTK.- 



44.".. 



-This l,y law is aniiMidod liy l.ylaws .Nok. 41 

fi.i ^^""''^'*.^'A8 under the provisions of Article .18.1 of the 
C.t.e, and Towns Act, .1 Edward VII. Chapter ,M, and bv i I 

n:^ir!z.:x^r^::z,{" "-'-' - "undini^tiJi^j^i:: 

..ir.oV'''''^'^^ 'i* ,""''' ''''"'■" "' N'otreDame de Graces has 
^ IH,' i'.iV"'"""' A "-/-r I-"*""'"'*; t''« construction of hou es 
said By L^C.'nd'" "" ''""*"■ "'"' """ """'■' »"■<■"■'"'*"«» »<• H- 

T„w,!^,II''v ^"^^n" '" "P^'''"""* •■""1 in »>"■ interests of the said 
T««. ot .\otre.Dame,le Graces to consolidate the said By-Laws 

Tot, "v„'/ n "■ ''■r'^r ■•'■K"'»'ing the construction in the 
lowi] lit .Notre Dame de Graces 
BE IT ENACTED :— 

1. By-Laws Nos. 25, 38 and 61 are repealed. 

-. The Council may, when deemed advisable, apnoint an 
inspctor. or such other officers, to inspect the erectfo*^ o a 
houses or buildings within the limits of the Town 

.). No person shall use any streets or lanes or obstruct 
the same in any way whatsoever without a permit from the 
Council to that effect. 

hnil fi'., ,"^1°" er-'ting. repairing or altering any houses or 
building, the proprietor, architect or builder, shall or- 
submit to the Council or its officers a plan and specil 
of said erection, repairs, or mo.lifications, and no sue ,-' 

tion, repairs or alterations may be begun before the said plan 
and specifications sMU have been approved by the Council or 



n 



OODC or BUILDINO LAWS. 



il I 



5. Tk* OmuM a»y, mi tmy tin* raqali* th* piedMtlM 
•» the Mid piM Md ipMdfieatiMa, ud tk* bnildcr ikall pro- 
doM th« wBw wh*B*T*r raqntrad to do lo. No plan ikBll bo 
Mcoptod mlow proptnd by aa architect. 

«. WhoaoTor worka for which a permit haa beoa nuted, 
or whoa the pUai eoaaected therewith will not be foud by 
the Coonell or iti officer* in accordance with the diiDoeitioa* 
of the preaent By-Law, the Oooncil or it* laid offieen aay 

ISln^si^-'^* • •*/"!* "*'J 'M "^^ ?■" •»« ■peolfleatleB; 
■kail have bMn made In eoafomity with the praaint Br-Law. 

tloB without the approTal of the Coaneil or ite offieenT 
j-4 !. Conncll maT, from time to time, by reeolation 

tt, «rJt 'S ""r '.J'"« '*•" ^ ~t«bli.hedVt «" 
-i^ •'."'? *'••,"»• •' "1* treat, aa may be dotenr ned 

m^/b^'ir^M • '*'""'* """■ "' '•"''^'"« »vTh*" 

■ I a^' liA?.„?*"«T" "J' tf*' •»■•" •»• '•" •» Cote St. Luc 

I ' I ?""• """O"- McLynn, HacDonald, St. Charlei and W>t«. 

• !'»«. provided, however, that on St. Charles Avenn. W 
ween Third Avenue aid Ninth Street the J™«i rtSl hi ^. 
A^«o"e t.f ™t:'"'lf •-'iL*"f """' to the^oi:''of O^wS 
mentioned "" '''^ l«t«r.ectlng the av.nve. Sove 

ji.^l^ *" •^'•■' •''•di, bami or outbaildinse not imm«. 
or metJl **' " "' ""^ •»«•"«• '» ••»»•. rteel .h^ing 

Mar. wi'ass 1 ■£!:;;£-—-- 

Weet, and of ten (10) fltTn Si iJl'T**' ""^"^ ^t •«"> 
Ncth, no .tepe, iil/eiSi o, v^^H^** k"'.?"J'« '*"'*'" "« 
onteide of the mid Uno^ti,™. »'v"^^ .•*,»" •» conrtmctod 
the h.u» .hall to biut .Talt«c,'!i'?t^--''5 ""^ ^"'"'" 
one side of the lot or nart of Sv w ■!'••■* **" '«•' '""» 

"»y b, bnilt, .0 tSLt*^.^ ihil Vm.f.'ir '"**' *"• •"• 

ia briek may l2ln»J^^ """^ e^Mting and not encaaed 
portion oTtXe^rtT^tw:'" "" ''^ *" '^*''"' " '"»^ 



00P» or BUILDING LAWS. 



n 



14. 



to SOO fwt •»»». N»tr« D«im de Oimew Atmm. 

^J: -/"Jf ^'•^ Avenue, ud on Okdaatisl lot* No*. 181 
Mdm to winder 8t«,t, u,d to 1000 fort .~ v. ShoAwiV,' 

U. In Wtrdt No*. 8 and 7. 

181. In ward* Noi. 8 nnd T, so honae ahali ha hnilt •« . 

I '^H '•"■"^ "/-i '"■ »k« -"JTwhS^fc IB *f^ rt^ 
I lort aa a lawa and onfenead. ^^ 

Mb. Wkaaaw a konaa ahall ba araetad at tha eornar of 

t^\!S^t!l Z*^^ ^S^ -fatloMd ia iaetioB 18 .kail 

stc^aJfrTv'.n'Sj.'^"'"'' "•'-'■"' <*•'"• ""' '«'•'"- •»" 

17. (BimMled and nplaesd by By-Law No. 417, See. 8) 
h. li- .k.!! » "". '"""njf o» any itreet, road or avean* ahaU 
bo leaa than twenty-five (2!?; foet wide in wards 3, 8 aad 7. 

«_'?; ^'' *»"•«,. •''.»U <» '•« than two ttoriet high, the 
finrt Bto^r not to be leaa tban g 1-2 feet bi(h, and tbe Mcond 
not leu than 9 feat. 

20. The front of every hoaie ahaU be of atone or first 
qnaliW.preuad or plaatle brick, tka aide of aay konaa beina on 
a^r atioat or nad ahaU alao ba of atane of fiiat qialitr praSaad 
^Lli**" '"*''^' '*• ""'" '^^ "•V •>• »' aeeoBd anali^ preaaed 
briek or cement, ezeept on at. Cbarle* Aveniw. from tb Ooto 
Bt. Lne Boad to Eight street honaaa may bo boilt of wood 
Uraig atoae or concrete foundations and tka roof covered 
with alate or steel sheeting. 

21. (Bqiealed and replaced by By-Law No. 48S, Bee. 1.) 
.1.-11^ ^,t I'i^*..'^' (""' mitoyon) between two lot* 
skaU be built of briek of.lt inekea tkiekBoa* oa tha first floor 



74 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



fn'Lt ibov?tre .tV"*""'- '' """ "•" "-"' "•«« than 12 

23. Every wall not being a midille wall shall lie at a 

minimum distanee of 2 feet from the .livi.linK line of the Int. 

.uchd,»tance being measure.l from the' eil'rforTf ?1 e'walT'' 

it»|rSHr£o~^ 

on arf'the-teTri ' /n°orth o/ptne' I""""" T"^- "'">• "^ "uilt 

Crete"' ''""'""'y' "hall be „,a.le of stone, brick or eon- 

ted .^'■any^Wanrj'theV'rJ '" "f/^"' "'■""' "" -"'I" " ""« 
majority o^f the ConLll °""' ""'""•* "'^ Permission of the 
29. Every building permit niav be oan.ellod ■ 

of the plumbing. ^ ^ ™" "'"'" ""^'"'''' the inspection 

hou»:^hitrbrtr'di',?a^'c: \TJ::rz r it" ""^ *-■' 

exterior line of the foundatfonr " '^""^ '""■ ''""' ">« 

(iee'i^rBl^ta^-Mrtc;^ ^-^.^T ^o- ""'•■'• 
(See al^^o B/.Law No%K:S ^.''/an'^re f ^ 

afte;'^he":i:trTr^ sLj;;:^„^-'i T"^"^" f'^* >'^- 

o«.oe Of the Seoretary.W'asrr"kt''"vLt'r rmeVor.l ''' 



Sec-. :!.) 



BUILDmo BY-LAWS OF BOEDEAUX WAED. 



Extracts ftom 
Montreal. 



he annexed t^thTdty "nd sTaTflrl following territories shall 
"Bordeaux Ward." •* '"" ^"™ " »'«''' ""'ler the name of 

-d by Hslu'ZV ^"^"^'"'^ ''•'»" i*' *-rrit«rial ,i„,i,,, ,,ef. 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



^ 7» 

the o„jeet» of such ^^i^ ^^^J^H^I^ ^^f^" "-i' 
.-. A portion of the parish of St. Laurent 



BYLAW «|8PJ0TDro THE EEECTION OF BUILDINOS 
vt THE VILLAOE OF BOEDEAUX. 

No. 11, Adopted 3rd May 1906. 

(Eepealed by By-Law No. 470. Adopted lOth January 1913.) 

BOEDEAUX. "-^^aw*! "i 

No. 19, Adopted 14th January 1907. 
(Eepealed by By-Law No. 470. Adopted 10th January 1913.) 



BUILDINQ BY-LAWS OF COTE DES NEIOE8 WAED. 

^11^^ V?",^''*" *"' ^ "°™d »•» charter of the City of 
Montreal," Chap. 48, 1 George V. Assented to 4th JuSe 1910 

.t '•. <"'•— Th<' town ot Cote dos Neiges shall be annexe,! tn 

.. ,*^°'* des Neiges Ward shall be subject to the bylaws nf 
the nty of -Montreal; the ward of the town of Coto de, NW, 

tTv'tiorrril'H'"""^'"'*^' "" "i"- '■>• *-"' the lands umlerS 
tuition in all the present wards, shall not be subject to th« 

fh- "v^ar M,y "' "'"•"■^'" ^'^'''"•''"g '">il.lings .luring £'« 
ii\e .\ear8 following annexation. = e s 



i 



BUILDINO BY-LAWS OF KOSEMOUNT WAED. 

Slin?,*^! -Tv"*?„-*°* *° *"'«'"' '"« '='"'«»' o' the City of 
Montreal." Chap. 48, 1 Oeorge V. Assented to 4th June 1910 

«•. '■ '.H~^''* village of Kosemount shall be annexed to the 
city and form a ward under the name of " Rosemount Ward. ' ' 

Bosemountwlrd."""^ ''^""'"" "' *'<"'"'"" "« '" ^""^ '" 



76 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS 



BOTLDINa LAWS OF 8T. FAUI. WABD. 

Eztnctt tTom-'An Act to amend the cbarter of the Oitr of 
Montreal." Olutp. 48, 1 George V, Assented to 1th Jnne 1910 

).— Sec. 1« (')— The town ot St. Paul shall be annexed to 

Ward "' ' ^"'^ ^^^" **" "*'"*' "' "®*- ^'"' 

St. Paul Ward shall, after its annexation, be subject to the 
eity B by-laws. •" 



BUILDING BY-LAWS OF EMABD WABD. 

^^^^^Jrr^'^ ^^ *° """""l ^e cJttrtor of the City of 
Montreal." Chap. 48, 1 George V, Assented to 4th June 1910 

. '^■—W—'^iie municipality of the town of Emard shall 
of Moi;t"r"al^"'' """' *"* ""'''''•' '" f" ByL«ws of the city 



BUILDING BYLAWS OF LONOUE PODTTE WABD 
^^Si'??'chL^ri*<5S„™A*Sren'.-^%?J ,- -lo- 

^uy ^n^-i;^^for'^-?d':;^-i^ ^l ^1 ^?r^ ^-1 

as .lofTiiJd V°JIs" ctrte""^' ''""'* """ "'' '""'t"""" "■»'*« 

apply™.; rtln^Vrn^V^Lt^Vr'fit'''"''' f"" "'" 
date Of annexation except Z farories'and yub^L^^u S'' 

Long-urPotte^'P""'"" "' "■" ^'""g- »' Beauriv^e'Tla 

the erecS''?f'tui;diLs"'shil'"n\*''^ "['^ "y""" ""PO'ti-K 
except for factori'es'trpubli'^'bundinT' "' "'" ""' 

Mo„?;;;r^u" i^ri^e^'i't^oriaf l^ll-^ts'a^f f "' Tetraultville de 

The city bylaws resneit „iT , i/ ''*^t'"f,'' ^>' "' eharter. 

««id .nunicipaiity for tfe next fi-'"*^ " ""' "PP'"^ *° '''^ 

factories and public buiidings ^■'■"'■'' '"'■"P' "^ «8»"J» 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



77 



BY-LAW TO AMEND BY-LAW NO. 391, ENTITLED "BY- 
LAW OONOEENING THE EBEOTION OF BXnLDINOB 
WITHIN THE LIMITS OF MOUNT ROYAL WABD." 
No. 408, Adopted 27th Jun« 1910. 

See. ].— Sections 1 and 3 of by-law No. 391 entitled "By- 
Law eoneerning the erection of buildings within the limits of 
Mount Royal Ward" adopted on the l.tth April 1909, are 
repealed an.l the following substituted therefor: — 

Spf- 3. — It shall not be lawful to construct^ occupy and 
maintain on said streets (with the exception of Cote des Nei- 
ttes Road, exclusive of that part of said Cote des Noiges Road 
comprised between Jote St. Luc Road and the south western 
limits of lot cadastral No. 10 of the Village of Cote des Neiges), 
on either side thereof, any factory, work shop, tavern saloon, 
livery stable, wood yard, or other place of business, nor shall 
It be vful to fit up or repair any existing building to be 
used » such." 

Sec. 2. — This bylaw shall be considered as' forming part of 
said liy-law No. .191, which it amends, as to the penalty and 
to all other intents and purposes. 

(See by-laws Nob. 444 and 449.) 



BY-LAW TO AMEND BY-LAW NO. 63, ENTITLED 'BUILD- 
ING BY-LAW", ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL OF 
NOTBE DAME DE OBACES PBEVIOUS TO THE 
ANNEXATION OF THAT MUNICIPALITY TO 

THE CITY OF MONTREAL. 

No. 417, Adopted 30tli December, 1910. 

Sec. 1. — Section 10 of said bylaw No. e.'!, entitled "Build- 
ing By-Law", adopted by the former Council of the Town of 
Notre hama (Ic Graces, is repealed and the following substitu- 
ted therefor : — 

(Amended liy By-law No. 445, Sec. 1.) 

Sec. 2. — Sec. 17 of said by-law No. 63 is repealed and the 
following sub3titute<l therefor : — 

"17. — In the territory comprised within the said Notre 
Dame de Graces Ward, between Sherbrooke Street and the 
('otc St. Luc Road, and reserved, as provided in Sec. 10, 
for the erection of private residences, the houses shall be 
isolated or semi-isolated, as provided in Sec. 13 of by-law 
No. 63. However, on cadastrad or registered lots less than 33 
feet wide, it shall be lawful to build over the whole width of 
the lot, provided that all the rooms be lighted In accordance 
with the provisions of Sec. IS of said by-law." 



fJODi; OF Itril.DIMi I.aW.S. 



^e,i territory any shed or stable whntsoeveV, before houMa and 

^JnluTfii"""^' '■^r" ^'''' ''"'" thereon, which sa^Ted 0, 
stable Rhn 1 bo erected upou the rear portion of the lot. 

r,„ '■,,,■ ,"..'* ^'^°^^ °^ "'e territory of Notre Dame de 
Orares W^ird situated between Sherbrooke St. an 1 the UpDe? 
Laqhine Road every house shall be built of stone brick or 
wood eased^Uh brick and shall not have less than'^^Jo s?oVb 
of said bv i7j Nn /; . "m" ""^ '■"•"'i'lered as forming part 

""(« e'Bv°„:rrTi Tl'""" ""• -P->!^1 anda'ifniS""" 
(Hee Bv-laws .\«. b.i ot .\,tre Dame de Graces and No. 463.) 



BY-LAW CONCBENmO THE ERECTION OF BUILDINOS 
ON BISHOP 8TEEET. "wtnuo 

No. 418, Adopted 9tli January 1911 

•"■ ^i ^:i^,:rof"^t:^tT^,7 Bi>djop street shall 
line, and the space so reserved sha be frif' " ^""fpS^^^^ 

Windows, pr<^ir?h;t''?hr::m,:'rr'permo-^haH 

-halite a'TefsTZs feTt hS^/rLfTr'^i' "1 T' »'^''»«' »'««' 
the top of the roof, and , lie fronta^^ T' "^ **"■ '"'""»"' '» 
Shan be Of ,.,1. stone orLf^ar 'o7;'r''e?se,fbrk^ """ '"'"•"°« 

worksr-factTr "to e^'wotk".,!?, "'T »"'!',':-!" "t'^et any 
stable, butcher's stall auto 2il ""' '""'•"■'' """"' "^"y 
shop or pbue of business a "is f 'T'- •."""'''■' ""■ "*'"" 
rep.. ,,. -stinK^bJldi^'^',: ^^^ -'^r '" ^a up or 

«,.■' 4 '".',■— f*^™ B.v-Iaw No. 4.-i9, Sec. 1.) 

sion., of tl;iste^ZI7be'■,■:'M^'•'-''''T ""y »f 'he provi. 
«""ts, and in defauU of ii, me ii "'':*" " /'"; w'"' "■• without 
without costs, as the Z7tT. I- Z"L "''''^ '''''' ^''^ "' 
amount of said fine and the teM„ „; ■ ""P"s<>'"n<'nt, the 

by the Reconler's Court „f 1, "ou "fT"?""*, *" *"■ ^''"'^ 
oretion: but such fine shall nnt .JL f^^^^^real, at its dis- 
■".prisonnient shall not be for a loZ'r ^'"*^. "^P""'' "^ the 
dar months; the said imnrisonl-nt ^'h '""' "'"" *wo calen- 
tnne before the expira foT o? ?., ' ''.''"■"". *<> 'ease at anv 
R.>.-order-s Court up^n parent If nl"" ■ ^'T^ '>>' *•"■ ««id 
™»ts, as the case mav be^- an, ft ft -"'y *'»«' <" f'"^ and 
sueh repetition shall, day bvdavc„„., .'"/'''"■''''" '" '•«P«-ated, 
arrest, a separate offence ^' '^'"'"""'te, upon summons or 

(See by-law No. 439.) 



JCODK OP BUILDl.NO LAWS 



7» 



BY-LAW OONOEENINa THE EBEOTION OP Bmrn™/,. 
ON ANGERS STBEET. BET^EN ^sS '"' 
STEEET AND OHUBOH STEEBT. 
No. 419. Adopted 9th January, 1911 
?^''' ^' — Cfpealert anil replaceil bv Bvlnw Vn jj- a . i, 
(Repealed and replaced )fy By' la^ ^n'oITgs Ve j ) 

sle' "iZ'r^''frl'"', ?'.",' "■"P''"""'' ''y '^J-'""- ^'o- ■•■♦". «•"■■ I ) 

or without C08t/a?th^ "'..ne.l.ate payment of 8aid fine, witi, 
amount of sail fine and [17 Z",^ 'f- *» "" ""Prisonn.eut, ,he 
hy the Heeorder "'court 'i'f e V °ty ' «? Tonreal ''J'/T' 

repetition ,hTll dLy by' dav"':o;" i,''ut:°"ui;„"'^'""*''' """ 
arrest, a separate offence. """ti'nte, upon Bu,nn,„., „ 



BY-LAW RESPECTING THE ERECTION OP BUILDINGS 

ON ROSEMOUNT BOULEVARD AND PIE IX. 

STREET. 

No. 421, Adapted 9th January, 19U 

a„d''pieR-^i'i^?77„'';'"'!'"f "'■'■*'"' "" RO"""'"""! Boulevard 
VrL \l . T' ''" ' ,'■'" '""'* ■" " 'li-tan™ of at le,,st 12 feet 

frrfrn'sTSi',:,"-' - ""■ ^' •■ - — -• »'-"' '■» 

wmdows, provided that the same do not p^fect more than '4 

Boulevard or Pie fX street <■' '1 be at least 25 feet high from 
llie level of the sidewalk to op of th. roof, and the front 

Sec. ,1.— Every person offending against any of the proii 



to 



CODK OP BUILDING LAWS. 



sioni of this By-Law sball be liable to a fine with or without 
coHta, and in default of immediate payment of said fine with 
or without costs, as the cnse may be, to an imprisonment, the 
amount of said fine and the term of imprisonment to be fixed 
by the Recoriler's Court of the City of Montreal, at its di«- 
cretion; but such fine shall not exceed forty dollars, and the 
imprisonment shall not be for a longer jwriod than two calen- 
dar months; the said imprisonment, however, to cease at any 
time before the expiration of the term fixed by the said 
Recorder's Court upon payment of the said fir». or fine and 
costs, as the case may be; and if the infraction ia repeated, 
such repetition shall, day by day, constitute upon summons or 
arrest, a seperate offence. 



BT-I.AW TO ASfEim BY-LAW Ko. 368, OONOEBNIKa THE 

EEEOTION or BOT1DIN08 ON OBETAm STllEBTB 

IN ST. HENBY WABD. 

No. 429, Adopted March etii, 1911. 

Sec. l.—Section 1 of said by-law So. .1.58 is amended by 
follow"in "-" '"'"*''"°" ^ thereof an.i replacing the same by the 

"(1) Both lies of St. James Street, from the boundary 

get" Streets'" ""* *"'' '"''^' ''""'•'«'' ^""^ ^"^ Boui- 

^f'J'"''''" ''y'®" '*•*" ''<"■'" part o' by-law No. 3.58 as 
regards the penal clause and to all other intents and purposes 
(See by-laws Nos. 358, 434 and 4.37. ^ ' 



°^-^W TO PBOHIBIT THE ERECTION Or OEBTAIN 

^^n^^osovrvscE.Ajtrjnm stbebt, raoM 

^*^ AVENUE TO UNIVEESITY STEEET 
AND ON DRTTMMOND STBEET, FBOM ST ' 
CATHEBINE STBEET TO PINE AVENUE.' 

No. 430, Adopted April 3rd, 1911. 

frnn,^ pI \~l'' '" 'o"'''''''''''! to crcct GU Prince Arthur Street 

StrS,t ?;om sT''r^t/°-^"'«r"*^ ^'i'''' «"'■ O" Dru„,u>ond 
street, from St. Catherine Street to P ne Avenue any work, 
factory, store work-shop, saloon, billiard room, Uve?y stable' 
rlaceof h,S """"-i^bile garage, laundry or 'otheor^shop »; 

or wlt?^V° '*■''"" u»^ immediate payment of said fine wUh 

amount of r,;'^ *"", 'T '""^ ''^' '» "» imprisonment, tJ. 
amount of said fine and the tern, of imprisonment to be fixed 



CODE OF BUILDING LAW8. 



M 



by the Rei'order'n Court of tho City of Montreal, at itH diwro- 
tion; but »uch fine shall not excee.l forty cloliarM anil the iiii 
lirinonment shall not he for a longer peri'o.l than two lalen.iar 
months; the saiil ini|iriHoiinient, however, to eease at nnv time 
before the expiration of the term fixe.l bv the Hai.i Hmo?-,t'» 
Court upuii payment of the sai.l fine, or fine ami ioMt«. «» the 
.ase may be, ami if the infraetion is repeateil. mnU repetition 
•nail, (lay by day, eoustitute, n|ion summons or unest. a sep- 
arate e/fen(!e. 



BY-LAW CONOEBNma ASSESSMENTS ON EEAl ESTATE 

BUSINESS TAX, WATEK BATE, TAX ON CAPITAL 

PERSONAL TAXES AND LICENSES. 

No. 432, Adopted April 24tli, 1911 

(EXTEAOTS) 

ITARIFF OF WATER RATES FOK CHliTAlX PARTlCfLVK 

i CASKS. 

i Sec. 1:;. — In aiMition to the water rate baseil on the annual 
rental, the several rates enumerated and sjiec-ified in the follow- 
;ing tariff shall be, and the same are hereby imposed for water 
|supplied by the City : 

Building Materials. 

(Payable in advance) 

For every thousaml bricks used, the water therefor to 

be charged .*(i ;i(i 

For every cid)ic yard of masonry, concrete or terra 
eotta ' 

For every thousand yards of plasti'rin); 



nil.'! 
:, on 



LICENSES 



THE CARKYl.NG 0.\ OF CEKTAIX OCCd'ATIONS VM) 
TRADES WlTHOl'T A UCENSE PROIIIBITKI). 

Sec. 3.--.\o person, corporation or firm shall do business 
within the city of Montreal as chimney sweep: nor shall keep 
or have under his or its control any public concert halls, dance- 
halls, meeting halls, halls where theatrical performances are 
hold, halls for the exhibition of moving pictures, or hulls of 
a amusement whatsoever, museums, lumber, hay. straw or fire- 
wood yards, oil refineries, saw-mills, foundries, furniture fair- 
tories, blacksmiths' shops, joiner shops, or shop!, for the repair- 
ing of furniture, or any other establishments ilangerous for 
fire, stores, buildings or any other structures in which oils, 
varnishes, petroleum, ben/ine, gasoline, or other very inflam- 
mable products, sky rockets or other fireworks are manufact- 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



ured or kejit for nali' or for uw or Mtoroil; inotors operatod hy 
Ka«, coal oil, gasolinp, naphta oil, olei'tricity or any other power 
except Bteani or steniii hoilerxi exercise the profession, ineoha- 
nical enifiiieer, Ntoker, plumber, without having previously oh- 
taincil a license from the City ond without having paid to the 
City Treasurer the following sums or those which may he fixed 
by the civic by-laws: 

SCHEDULK OP LK'KNSK FKKS 
Trades, Tudustries, etc. 

('hininey ,Swceps ^.').00 

Owners or lessees of cou crt hulls or halls for theatrical 
representations or for the exhibition of moving 

„ Pi<-tures -„0„0 

Owners or lessees of rluucehalls inoOO 

Owners or lessees of niuseuuis or halls of amusement 

whatsoever, where uii entrance fee is paid .. .. .1(1 nO 
Persons keeping halls used exclusively for meetings of 
societies or public meetings and from which all 
amusements are exc'uded : 
When the rent or annr value, acconling to the valua- 
tion roll, does not exceed .tl.jo iq oo 

When the rent or aunucd value is more than !»1.")0 but 

does not exceed .^24(1 j-„„ 

When the rent or annual value exceeds $2W -lo oo 

Persons keeping halls offere.l for lease to the public 

for social amusements: 
When the rent or annual value, according to the valua- 
tion roll, does not exceed *150 .... on 00 
18 more than .$150 but does not excee.l $240 ot „n 

IS more than 240 but does not exceed .-lOO ™ on 

IS more than 300 but does not exceed 400 -.-, ( n 

IS more than 400 but does not exceed 500 ! .' 4u oo 

When the rent or annual value exceeds $rm '■„) m 

} eraons keeping iuud.er. hay, straw or fire-wood' yards 
saw mills, foundries, furniture factories, blacksmith 's 
shops, joiner shops or shojis for the repairing of fur- 
niture or all other establishments .langerous for fire 
stores, buildings, or any other structures in which oils 
yarnishes, petroleum, ben/.ine, gasoline or other very 
inflammable products, sky rockets or other fireworks 
are manufactured or kept for sale or for use or stored 
for each of such yar.ls, ato.es or other establish- 
menta _ 

(Whenever two or more Vu,-li yards or other estabiish- '' ' 
meats above mentioned are kept by the same person, 
on the same premises or under the same roof, and also 
whenever there is a motor subject to a license in one 
f l^" 'a;;l f^'tablishments or yards, a single license 
of $5 shall be exigible for the whole.) 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



83 



IVrKOna using moton opi-rateil by gnu, roul oil, gasoline 
naplita oil, elpctricity or any other power fxct'pt steam 
(automobiles excepteil), for each establishment, if 
using less than five horsepower, the sum of $2.00; 
if using more tiian five horse power, the sum of . . .tS.OO 

Owners of steam boilers, for each boiler . .'5 00 

Mechanical engineers, {1st class) 4 00 

Mechanical en;^incerM (2n<l ela^s) .'100 

Mechanical engineers (.trd class) -00 

Stokers 100 

Master plumbers ■* oO 

.lournevmen plumbers 1 00 

Sei-. 4fi.— Tlie City Treasurer shall grant none of the been- 
SI'S mentione.l below, except upon the written reconimen.lation 
of the officials hereinafter designated ; 

Of the Superintendent of Police and Building Inspector 
jointly. — For dance-halls, concert halls, meeting halls, halls 
where theatrical performances are given, halls for the exhibi- 
tion of moving pictures and nil places of amusement what- 

Of the Buil.ling Inspector.— For lumber, hay, strnv; or fire 
wood vnrds, oil refineries, saw mills, foundries, furniture fac 
lories,' blacksmiths' shops, joiner shops, shops for the repairing 
of furniture and nil other such establishments dangerous tor 
fire fnrtories and stores for the sale or storage of sky rockets 
or other fireworks, varnishes, naphta oil, benzine, petroleum, 
oils, gasoline or other very inflammable products, motors opera- 
ted by gas, coal oil, gasoline, naphta, electricity or any other 
power except steam. . , ,„ 

Of the Boiler Inspector.— For mechaniial engineer and sto- 

••ers. 

Of the Saiiitarv Kngiueer.— For idunibers. 

See. 4S. All licenses issued under the present by law shall 

signed iiv the Citv Treasurer; they shall be annual, with 
le exception of those issued for circuses, exhibitions or para- 
des and shall expire on the first day of May after the granting 
thereof hut the said Treasurer may, however, issue licenses 
from the 1st of February for a term of fifteen months. 

yp(. 49. So such license shall be transferable, nor shall 

the same authorize any perso.- to do busineess or act under it, 
but the iierson or persons named therein. , . , , . „ i. 

Sec -)•'— Everv license imposed under this bylaw shall be 
navable' fo^r each lommercial establishment kept by the same 
person, firm or company, in two or more district or separate 
buildings or ii\a<iea of business. 

PENALTY. 

Sec 53— Every person offending against sections 29, 30, 
31, 32! 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, ;i9, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. 45. 47 49 and 51 
of this by-law shall be liable to a fine, with or without costs, 
and in default of immediate payment of said fine with or with- 



^ CODBOFBUILD IXO LAWS. 

;»ent «h„ll „„, bo for « longer .eHoftha^twn'"'1 "'." '"P''"- 
.•xp.nition of tl,o tern, fixod hv Jhe R.L,7 ' ""^ ""'"^ «''e 

BEPEAL OP OBBTADT BY-LAWa. 

.l'er,^''bv'i~K"or -"^fl o'5^''Sll"«j' "By"'"- oonccning p,.,l- 
••02, 404 .u,,! 422 „i "ontitled'^Bv'ln"' ''"■ '=••• •'"'-' ■•"'■^. 399, 
faxes and In'onses" bT ' w V„ "^fsi"" .':?,"T"''''8 «»»«'s»ment8 
ing .he «,l„,i„i„,„.'io7 of\-^"or''wo;'k", an" VJ^^^.T '"?""""' 
water rnte»". „„,] bv law Xn -iri .-.^ . ..i'"' ™"™tion of 
a tax on lifa insurinoe oo,,?panii." I''"' , ^f'^"' "> '■»?»" 
.il»o all «o,.tions of other K^. ' ■ ''T''^' 'epPaleii, as 
with tl,. provision, of tl prl,ent iTl '" 'T", '"'■"""''tent 
-to foroo on the first -la'^? Ma" n'o'Jt nsin '''' "'"" «""« 

previous by-laws, wLhsCZfU?. T''" "'"'''' «•"■ '"i-i 
l>y-I«WB. ' "*"""'♦'""<' to he govorneil by such 

^ ^ No. 433, Adopted 29tl, May, 1911. 

«oev;.ri„'H,frin. "o"-"MonL»>^ '"'",'.''"« "■ P^oP-'tv what- 
■^ai'l C'i,,-. Shan haielns'L rb;J"f;f''-.'l ^ith wfter' by The 
ven.ent pla.e. a sto,,-,.o,.k fo the «^ w. ' "V"'^''" «"'' "=«■'- 
»a„i^-o,k sl^ii bo kept fros" p!.„y *" "''''' <"' *<> him, which 

™.-n\":.k-;vhr,I';v,.r'';;^^;e°''fortr*'" """" ""-' -'"'-- to 
l.»l a.hninistration. and^ ,av , " "« P"?""" "' "'" ■""-i"- 
hey shall tl„.„ abine have the rLf, ' "'"' """ "a""-, aurt 
l'.eak the seal thereof. '*^'" *" °1"'" "aid oo.k and to 

heen\7;;j:i-;if'-»,"-,™'^;jtop.c k ,„ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ 

^eal ,s fonud broken or the .i„l '^ "■''■''''' "^ *^'e City, if the 
•";e"pant of the house or bundL'^'"' !l" """'"■ tenant or 
which the cock is placed Shan hi ?',f "'^ "^^^ "ay be, " 
after provided. ^ ' "*" '"^ ''a''''- to the penalty herein 



CODE or BUILDJXO LAWS. «., 

or without ;^:u":',e r ;:,?v',r-t "' "^ ""'■' ""■• *'"' 

irur MiiimiiH, the hiihI iiniinwimuiMit, Ikih-i'vit, to .vim- iit nnv 
tun,. I,otor. tho ..xpiration of t.,o t-r,,, fix.M ,v L'Z.\LTo. 

.'riv'';;:.'''rr'"r.r' ""; ' ''■"•• ■" '■■"• »"■' '»'''««• 

n;"L-,i„ •,""',' ""■ '"."•■"■•">" i- r..|...ut..,l, ™..h repe. 



3 



"^T^^J° AMEND BYLAW No. 358, ENTITLED "BV 

ov S«S!???<* ™= EEECTION OF BuSomOS 
ON OEETAm 8TEEET8 IN 8T. HENEY W/Sd-' 
AS AMENDED BY BY-LAW No. 429. 

No. 434, Adopted June 12tll, 1911. 
4 ., *^'"''; ';—**"''• ''J','"" ^'''- •'■"''^' "" nmcnilo,! l,y bylaw No 

.M.oV'"."'^"''^''^ new huiMinft or tcneniont erected on the 

irr:tta::t'^ne:?t^:^ta;r"' ''"■"-^ '"'^"" «""■"" "■"" 

It).- The frontage of every new huil.liuif ereeteil on the 

lot, 'n^Ti* /"/'"V"'!'!"" to erect, estal,li,h or maintain on the 
» V LIT '"";'"'•'"« "■■ ^" "'■"■■>,'<• Ktienne Cnrtier Square 
M.rv,»;ie;' ,"/■;■• "'""■• .""'•X'""'!'. »«'oon, Inlliard ?oon,. 
Iner% stable, butcher's stall, automobile garage, laundry or 

o ! „"„ ? "M''^"" °' '"'"""'"*• "■• •» P'""" •''"<■<>■' "ny posters 
business •""■'""" ° '"'^"'■''-'"K "".v of "u.'h kinds of 

w .'''"S^T^ '"'"' I'uibling ereite.l on Notre Dame street 
West, or St. James street, ,n .St. Henry Ward, shall be at least 

roof''" ""' ' '■' "'' ""■ "'''"■""I'' «" "»■ top of the 

c ■ ,'^'"''■,^■"'1,'''° ''i>o''"', "'"'" ''* <'onsi,lered as forming part of 
said by-law No. 338, which it amends, m to the p„n1,iVy"nd 
to all other intents and puriioses. J " ' 

(See by-laws Nos. ;)5H, 429 and 4.i7.) 



N6 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



BBBOnON OP BUILOmOB OK OBBTAW irBBM?^ 
IK ST. HmniY WAED, AS AMBNDBD BY BY- 
LAWS ITm. 429 AITO 434. 

No. 437, AdOpUd July 24tll, 1911. 

.h-ii'^-'''. '—■'''"' Provi.ionn of bylaws No.. 3S8 429 an.l *u 

.•oUoCin'g ,he dn.t .hall bo „"oj ""' ''"'""' »??"«»<•" for 



MOOTHEAl BUKLDmo BY-LAW OP igoT" 
No. 438, Adopted Augaat 7th, 1911. 

lowing substituted ZtXtT- ' " "'"'"'"^ '»■* *•■« 'ol- 

w,th dormitori,.,. hofo|„, aBvluma h„f, "'" ,''«''™'<''>t. schools 
"dei.arti„,.ntnl .stores anarS* i' "'""" "' '"'"K". hospital., 
;;»-v..M lod«i„«, "paZ^t ro„sos"h» .'■'"■""»'»« .norc^han 

"greater heigh than 60 feet i, IT ""I' construction to a 
"I'oen let at least 30 days bey-^reThe'T ?''"V''"'™'=" '"'ve 
Se... ».-Thi» bv-Kw .Lift *''^ P«'»">K of this bv-Iaw " 
™i.l by-law No. 260 whieh if ''™*','''"'''"'' " '""""K part of 
.'ause and to all oX'r Tn'^etts^anT^S^se',^. '''"'' *"" P"-' 



CODE OP BUILDING LAWS. 



S7 

nroi ON BISHOP aTBSBT" """^ 

Ko. 439, Adopttd S«ptemb«r 8th, 1912. 

Moc 3a.— The provi.ioiiH of tliix bylaw shull uut nni.lv 
l.or:he;?V8.'"r».1 Prop""- -ituated it th« mlrZrZ'^^i 



BY LAW TO BE8BBVE OEHTAIK 8TEEBTB FOE EESI- 
DBNTIAL PUBPOBBB. 

Ko. 443, Adoptad Novambw BTth 1911. 

Sep ].— The following 8triMt» lui.l purtioni of itrcots are 
reserved excliuively for reiiden.es: - "* 

Aveiui *""'P'°° ^''""' '^"'w'^^'-'n Slierbrooke Street un.l Pine 
Redpath Street, between Sherhrooke Street iiij.l I'ine 



Ontario Avenue, between Sherbrook ■ Street nu.l 
Drummond Street,- between Sherbrouke .street 
Street, between Sherbrooke Street and 
between Sherbrooke and 



I'iuo 

and 

I'iuo 

Pino 



(I)) 
Avenue. 

(<■) 
Avenue. 

(d) _._ 
Pine Avenue. 

(e) Peel 
Avenue. 

(f) McTavish Street, 
Avenue. 

(J) -MeGregor Street, between Simpson .Street a.i.l Coto 
de» Neiges Road. 

(h) University Street, between Sherbrooke Street iind 
Fine Avenue. 

and it is forbidden to erect on said streets or portions of streets 
any works, factory, workshop, saloon, hotel, apartment house, 
billiard room, livery stable, butcher's stall, public automobile 
garage, laundry or any other shop or place of husineas what- 
Koever, and it is also forbidden to fit up or repair any existiue 
buildings to be used aa sucii. 

See. 2.— Every person offen<ling against the uliove provi- 
sion of this By-law shall be liable to a fine with or without 
costs, and in default of immediate payment of said fine with 
or without costs, as the case may be, "to an imprisonment, the 
annunt of said fine and the term of imprisonment to be fixed 
by the Recorder's Court of the City of Montreal, at its dis- 
cretion; but such fine shall not exceed forty dollars, and the 
imprisonment shall not be for a longer period than two calen- 



t^'ODK OF BUlLDliN'G LAWS. 

repetition .,l,ali: ,lav 1, L l„ J'Z " "''^•>*<''l- »'"=h 
arrest, a sej.arate okme. ' '°"""'"*''- "1'"" «umm„o„» or 

(See By-law No. 4)s. H,.,.tions I. o a,,,, j., 



ROYAL WABD OF MONTEE^?'™'^ 
No. i44. Adopted November 27th, I9ij 
(Kepeale.l a,„l repla.e.l l,.v By-Law Xo. 443,. 



^TJlJ^^iy^j^i;^^ ?"■ "^- ENTITLED .BY- 

INO B#.IIw ADOMED »v''JS?™"^E° "BUILD 

THE T^Vm 0? NOTRE DA«^«^x?^°^ OP 

PEEVIOUS TO TH? Pil^llR? OEACES 

SAID »^ICIPALITY^??=gJ'E"??TY°'' 
OF MONTREAL. • "^ 

No. 445, Adopted 8 January, 1912. 

of Votre Dame ,le Gra eV a, „ le l'"; /,"" *''"■""■■• "T""'" 
following ,mrasra,,l, • »"" mlcl by a.I.lmg thereto the 

(Repealed a,„l repla.-e.l l,y ......aw Xo. 46;,, See. .,., 



BY-LAW TO «=OULATE^BUILDINOS ON CERTAIN 
No. 446, Adopted 15th January 1912 

brook:''stre;i,'\JtVe:;''c;tv',;"u;;^;* °''/'"'" »'"<■ »' «"". 
any works, faetorv wnVk - ''•"■''' ••""' Guv street 

stable, but;he^.";i,;'°„^,,''°'';• «♦''":. '-i'""-' roonl, li .rry' 
any other shop or . , 1 - , n ' ,' V -^"'''""'bile garage. la,„,,.„- „^ 

--..en Ut ;'or-e;-z;-i:;!;-;-^L-'^ ArtiS 

«io"^-t^is B;^^=.^'avf^::e'-t^'r;?;i^ 



CODE OF BUILDIXO LAWS. 



I 



^'^z:^t':oX\^:::::t^cT"" "' """ ^'- -'^^ 

«."«..ut of the «'ai,l f "e aTl Tlfe .•„'".?'' '"'!'"'<'"""'"♦' «"« 
fn-,.,1 by the Rceonler'. Court th,: C ,v -7^°?'*°,' *" '" 
discretion; but such fine shall „!, , K !■ '""''''■«>. «t its 
th,. impriUment xhal Lt 1,,. • i'"- ''"'>'■ ''»"»"' """1 



DfOS ON ANOEBS STEEET BETWEPW^ 
LASALLE STREET AND Cl^ra 
AVENUE." 

No. 447, Adopted 19th January 1912 

See. 1. — Sections 1 iiii.l 2 «f saiil I.vIb«- Vn iiu 
pealed and replaced bv the following " ' "' '"■' •'"■'■ ^'■ 

^^ 'See. l.-(R..pealed an,l replac,.,! by By-law No. 46S, Sec. 

stoup or ashlar or pressed brick." 

Bv.lat'"vr"Ji''Q'' ,''■'"'"" "MV"' <-»"'i'l"''J a» forming part of 

in^enTsa^ndpurX"^"''" '"^ P^""" ""-"- ■"'" to llf other 



^"T^J°™;^"^*'° BY-LAW No. 443. ENTITLED "BY 
LAW TO EESEEVE CEETAIN STEMTS FOR 
RESIDENTIAL PXmPOSES." 

No. 448, Adopted 15th April 1912. 

8treet""f'J;^''«'".r''^ "/ ■*''^ ^">' '""""''''1 »'■'' Sherbrooke 
street to the South, (not including Sherbrooke St.). to the 

H^li fc Y^ '."l*"' ^^ V"'""''^' «••• *" "•« North hv Mount 
Royal Park and to the West by both sides of Cole Ue^ Neiges 
Koad, is reserved exclusively foi^sidences and it is forbidden 
to erect within said limits anf works, factory, work shop 
saloon, hotel apartment house, billiard room, livery stable' 
butcher s stall, public automobile garage, laundrv or anv other 
mop or place of business whatsoever, and it is also forbi.lden 



so 



(JODK OF BUILDING LAWS. 



tu fit up or repair any e>istiiig buililiiiga in order that the 
^<lllnl• MUiy lie useil as such. 

Sec. L'.— It in alxii forbi.kien to erect on Ht. Louis Square 
hoth SI. lea, ami on Laval Aveiue.both sides, hetween Hhcrlirooke 
.St. an. I l)iilutli Avi'MUe, any works, factory, work-shon, saloon, 
hotel, liilliard room, livery st.ilde, l.utclier's stall, uuldic auto- 
nioliile (jarage, laundry or anv otlier shoj) or iilace of business 
whatsoever and it is also forbidden to fit un or repair anv 
e.Mstini; l,uil.lint;s in order that the sanu' may be used as such. 

.Sec. .l.^-The jiresent by law shall be coniidereil as formiui; 
part ot said by law Xo. 44,1, as to the penalty and to all other 
intents and jmrposes. 



^^^rS^^I^^^™° ''"^ EEECTION OF BUILDINGS 
WITHIN THE LIMITS OF MOUNT EOYAL AND 
COTE DES NEIGES WAED 

No. 449, Adopted 22nd April 1912. 

Sec l.-Every building here-(ter erected on any ot the 

»h'/n ^ '" ■""""'-""y"' ^"'»' °°^ "P^x^d or not yet opened 
shall bo so erected at a distance of at least 14 feet from the 
line of such streets. However, on ,3t. .Mary Bouleva?" in 
Mount Hoyal and rate des Neiges Wards, and on Queen mL 
\L^t°i< TIV, '"'"'!i°S fhall be erected at a distance of at 
H^i. °' ^'^ Boulevard and of said 

than'"'\wo'Bt'ori;s,"''*'"' '° '^"' ^*'^*« «"''" '"'' »'-'' '««« 

m^ Ttieeff "°J ^''^" "Ot, nevertheless, apply to the follow- 
ing Btreets and avenues of said Mount Royal Ward- Gati- 
neau Swa.l, Pictou. Albani, Marfechal, Fort, nor' to the 
South-West side of Decelles St. 

'' "''f'-.u'""^* '^ forbidden to erect, establish or occupy on 
rftv, ^ ^^f'"^*/ """^ avenues of Mount-Royal Ward, on 
hver. l]l^^'"°V"^ I'"'""'^- work-shop, tavern, saloon 
livery stable wood-yard, ice-house, stone or granite yard 

to f°it un "T^I, ""'" °' *"■"'"*'=• ^^'J 't <« »>«> 'orbl^dd^' 
uU as such ™ °° """'"' ^"^ '""*'"«' buildings to be 

Sec. 3.-St. Mary Boulevard, in Mount Royal and CAt» 
dee Neiges Wards, Decelles and Gatineau Avenues from 
Maplewood Ave. to St. Mary Boulevard, Victoria ujrct 

T^^k^^'r^-u"^^"'', """^ ^"«'=*"t ^^''""». and Queen 
Mary Road shall be eiclusively reserved for residential pur 

fertt"^^ ,7 'l""'""^ «•''** ^"^^ on said st«eS '^^n- 
leas t m detacheo or semi-detached. Flats or any other 
bu Idings intented to be occupied by two or morrfamiliel 
rv'h^iMin"""''';'L^ "•' prohibited on same. Moreover eve 
ry bMilding must have a frontage on said streets .or parte 



(JODK OF BUILDING LAWS. 



ol streets of at least twenty-five feet foi semi-detached 
houses. However, on ots presently cadastred as being 
twenty-five feet wide or less, the minimum shall be nineteen 
feet for detached and thirty-eight feet for semi detached hou- 
ses. 

Sec. 4.— Every person offending against any of the pro- 
visions it this by law shell he liable to a fin?, with or wif... 
out costs, and in default of immediate payment of said fine 
with or without costs, as the case may be, to an imprison- 
ment, the amount of said fine and the term oi imprison- 
ment to be fixed by the Recorder's Court of the City of 
Montreal at its discretion, but such fine shall not exceed 
forty dollars, and the imprisonment shall not oe for a 
longer period than two calendar months; the said impri 
sonment, however, to cease at any time before the expira- 
tion o( the term fixed by the said Recorder's Court upon 
payment of the said fine, or fine ard costs, as the case 
may be, and if the infraction is repeated, such repetition, 
shall, day by day, constitute, upon summons or arrest, a 
separate offence. 

Sec. ."i. — By-Laws Ncs. 391 and 444, concerning the erec- 
tion of buildings within the limits of Mount Royal Ward, 
are reiealed. 



BY-LAW COWCEENINO THE ERECTION OF CERTAIN 
BUILDINOS ON ESPLA»' T AVENUE, BETWEEN 
DULUTH AVENUE MOUNT ROYAL 
AV: 

No. 454, Adopted 12th June 1912. 

Sec. 1. — It is forhiden to erect on Esplanade Avenue, 
between Duluth Avenue and Mount Royal Avenue, any store, 
work-shop, armoury or drill-hall, saloon, works or factory, 
billiard-room, livery-stable, butcher's stall, automobile ga- 
rage, laundry or other shop or place of business, and it is 
!ilso fnrl)i.|.li'li to fir U|i Of r.-pjiir :niy existing ImilMiiii;^ in 
order that the same may be used as such. 

Sec. 2.— It is forbidden to erect on said EJsplanade Ave- 
nue, within the above mentioned limits, any building at a 
distance of less than 2S feet from the line of said avenue. 

Sec. 3. — Every person offending against any of the pro- 
visions ol this By-law shall be liable to a fine with or with- 
out costs, and In default ol Immediate payment of the said 
fine with or without costs, as the case may be, to an im- 
prisonment, the amount of said fine and the terra of impri- 
sonment to be fixed by the ^oorder's Court of the City 
of Montreal at its discretion; mit such fine shall not exceed 
the sum of forty dollars, and the imprisonment shall not 
he for a longer period than two calendar months; the said 



93 



f'ODK OF BU11.D1N0 LAWS. 



and if the infraction is repeated, such .epetitlon Bhau' dav 
by^day, constitue, upon summons or arrest, a separate o' 



^^m'^BY°L^'=''?r,oP^,^ "'■ '"' ENTITLED .BUIL3- 

AS AMENDED BY BYlIw No. «^ 
ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIt 

THE dl^°cK^n^ M6^fE^°^"° »^ 
ON THE 8TH JANUAEY igit^"^ 
No. 463, Adopted 21st October, 1912. 

and gia'e7''bTire'oIlowing'':' "^'"^ ^°- '' '« '-^I'^aled 

shall he erected' witliin'"t'he''Ie„i'J"'" '"' "I'partinci.t l,ous,.s 
of thJR by-law. Nevertheless honi^'"'""'*'' '" ^^-^t'o" l6 
than two and not more than thrTn .^""^^'"^^S not less 
all the streets included in Jhl f 1"**^ '"''^ •>« ««"«<! on 
territory bounded o„ the south llZ^^"^ J'°"''^'"^ '" "e 
on the north-esat by Wcarfe Iv^nn ^^ ^^ ^"""^^ "■■«*; 
Sherbrooke St and on ?h J """f^"^- "" the north-west by 
except Clifton avenue and that"n 7"'' by Mad.son avenue^ 
between Oxford and G?rouard ^avenues" "' ^'>«^''^"°^« ^treei 

threfsrrVs°rb"'"m^a^*| erct^d' 'Z """ ^ "''" ^'•- 
nue, from Clanr .• id avenife tn /h * ,' u?" Avonmore ave- 
Montreal Park . . Island Rail w^,,.""*^*" °' ''^^ of the 
from Macdonald avenue to aToTeet nor b™f pf""* ^'"''">- 
nue; (c) on De Levis avpnTw. , ^.^^ °' Clanranald ave- 
Coolbrooke avenue d>nn«' /"^"T ^^''^Donald avenue to 
avenue to Too ibroi^i avenue^f f ™'*' ^-^ ^''"'lonald 

rre'-Cat :it\"-t^rel ?-- -- - --"t .t 

be lawful to :«cteBtibLh'Lr*'"r .>---ions, it shall 
mercial establishmentron Decarie Av"*^'" f °^*« "^ ■="■»- 
mes street and the south-eaft^?dl f r.'"""' ,'',***«*" S« Ja- 

Sec. 3. -Section 32 of -o^u ^°' '^"'^" ^^^'"y Road. 
replaced by the following ^"^ "''"'*" ''°- «=> '« "P^^'ed and 



'■i>\n: OF BUILOIMJ LAWS 



91! 



u 



,■(, f M . 7™^ provisions ot by-law No. 260 ot the 
I ity of Montreal and its amendments shall apply to that 
portion of the territory of Notre-Dame ae Graces ward 
bounded on the south-east by the Lachine Canal on the 
north-east by ('6te St. Paul Road, on the Lachine Road 

tral lots No. 176 an.l No. 177 of the Parish ot Montreal 
and the extension of such dividing line to the Lachine Ca- 
nal '. 

SfC 4.— The provisions of By-law No. 63 of the former 
Town of Notre Dame de Graces shall apply to that part of 
the Village of "Me St. Luc bearing Nos. 70. 71 143 148 
l.i2a, 154 and 164 of the Cadastre of the Parish ot Montreal,' 
which has been annexed to the City of Montreal as a part 
of Notre-Dame de Graces Ward, in virtue of the Act 2 
George V, Chapter 56, Art. 1. 

Sert. .5.— Section 10 of said by-law No. 63, as replaced 
by section 1 of by-law No. 417, adopted by the City Coun- 
cil of Montreal on the 30th December 1910, and as amended 
by section 1 >f by law No. 44.=i, adopted by the City Coun- 
cil of Montreal on the 8th J^auary 1912, is again replaced 
by the following : 

"Section 10.— The whole of that portion of the territory 
of such municipality now known and designated as "Notre- 
Dame de Graces Ward ', situated to the north of St. .Tames 
street, is hcre'iy reserved as a residential district or for the 
erection of private residences, and it is forbidden to erect 
or establish therein any works nr factory, shop abattoir, 
warehouse, wood or coal yard, rnce course, livery stable or 
public .stable, soap factory, foundry, tannery, werehouse for 
the storage of oils or of combustible or explosive substan- 
ces, or any other establishmert such as might incommode 
the persons residing in the vicinity by the noise, smoke or 
bad odors, ".,nt upon a strip of land 200 feet wide on earh 
side of and all along the Canadian Pacific Railway track, 
from Dfcarie aveni;p to Madison Avenue, It shall be lawful 
to erect, establish and maintain warehouses, stores or 
business establishments, wood and coal yards, or yards tor 
the storage of building material, but only on a special 
permit from the Board of Commissioners and the City Coun- 
cil." 

"Tt shall also be lawful to erect, establish and maintain 
stores or commercial establishments on St. .Tames St., bet- 
ween Decarie avenue and Chfipleau avenue, including the cor- 
ners of such streets, as well as on Sherbrooke Street, bet- 
ween toe City of Westmount and the western limits of said 
ward with the exception, howerer. ot that portion of said 
Sberhrooke strpct (comprised between Cbaplefv" and nxff^rd 
Avemie'»." 

Sec. 6. — Every T>erson offending against any of the provi- 
sions of by-law No. 63, entitled "Building By-Law". 



94 



CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



adopted by the Council of the Town of Notre-Dame de Gra- 
ces, previous to the annexation of said Municipality to the 
City of Montreal, or against any of the provisions of By- 
laws Nos. 417 and 445, amending said "By-law No. 63 
adopted by the City Council of Montreal, the first, on the 
3(>th of December 1910 and the second, on the 8th Janua- 
ry 1912, or against any of the provisions of the present 
by-law, shall be liable to a fine, with or without costs, 
and in default of immediate payment of said fine with or 
without costs, as the case may be, to an imprisonment to 
be fixed by the Recorder's Court of the City of Montreal 
at its discretion, hut such fine shall not exceed forty 
dollars, and the imprisonment shall not be for a longer 
period than two calendar months; the said imprisonment, 
however, to cease at any time before the expiration of the 
term fixed by the said Recorder's Court upon payment 
of the said fine, or fine and costs, as the case may be and 
it the infraction is repeated, such repetition shall, day by 



BY LAW CONCERNING ILLUMINATED SIGNS. 
No. 464, Adopted 2nd December, 1912. 

Section 1. — Any electric name, word, letter, sign, device 
or representation in the nature of an advertisement, an- 
nouncement or direction, formed of electric bulbs, and con- 
taining at least one lamp every six irches, hung or attached 
to the wall of any building over the public sidewalk, shall 
alone be deemed to be an illuminated or electric sign, for 
the purposes of thie hy-law. 

Section 2.— .Notwithstanding the provisions of By-law 
No. 270, concerning Streets, Roads and Highways, and of 
its amendments, the City Surveyor may recommend to the 
City Treasurer that permits to hang or attach Illuminated 
or electric signs to buildings, project nj more than -six inches 
from said buildings or to maintain the same, if they have 
been erected previous to 'the adoption of this by-law, be 
issued under the by-law concerning assessments, taxes and 
licenses, provided the said signs do not exceed in any case 
half the width of the publ c sidewalk, and that they be •>la- 
ced at a height of not less than ten feet over said sidewalk 
or at a greater height as may be determined by the City 
surveyor. ' 

Sec. 3.— All illuminated or electric signs shall he cnvprert 
with metal and the supports and braces for the same shall 
bo entirely of metal. Sai^, signs shall be firmly attached 
to the building and shall be so constructed as not to expo- 
se passers-oy to any danger. 

Sec. 4.— All the lamps forming part of an illuminated or 



CODE OK BUJLDINO LAWS. 



!)> 



I'li'ctrii- ciK" "liall 'iiir" i'Vitv ilav. cxri'iit SuimIuj-, from 7 
o'clock p.m. to 12 p.m. from the Ist ot April to the lat 
of October, and from 6 o'clock p.m. to 12 p.m. from the 
2nd of October to the 3lBt ot May. 

Sec. 5.— Before a recommendation for the issue ot any 
permit is made by the City Surveyor, a sketch of the sign 
proposed to be erected or maintained and method of attach- 
ment to the building must be filed with the Inspector of 
Building, and his certificate of approval be obtained as to 
the sufficiency of the construction and method of attach- 
ment to the buildings. A certificate must also be obtained 
Irom the Superintendent of the Light Department, to the 
effect that the proposed electric wiring and electric applian- 
ces for said sign sign are in accordance with the rules and 
regulations of the Canadian Fire Underwriters' Association. 

Sec. 6. — No illuminated or electric sign shall be placed, 
hung or maintained except as in this by-law provided, under 
til- i-'Mjilty hiTfinut'tiT pr(>\'i"!i'il. 

Sec. 7. — The permit mentioned in this by-law shall be 
granted tor one year only, and be revoked, at any time, 

l.i'fiir.- till' 0X|iny of tin' v.'iir fnr wliiih it sliiill h;ivi' 1m 

granted, or of any subsequent year, if renewed, if the City 
deems It advisable to revoke said permit. 

Sec. 8.— Every person offending against any of the pro- 
visions of this l>y law shall, upon conviction ot such offence 
betore the Recorder's Court ot the City of Montreal, be 
liable to a tine, with or without costs, and in default ot 
immediate payment of said fine with or without costs, as 
the case may be, to an imprisonment, the amount of said 
fine and the term ot imprisonment to be fixed by the said 
Recorders Court at its discretion, but such fine shall not 
exceed forty dollars and :be imprisonment shall not be for 
a longer period than two calendar months; the said impri- 
sonment, however, to cease at any time betore the expira- 
tion of the term fixed by the said Recorder's Court upon 

|.aviTi(Mit of the siii.l fin.', or firii' iin.l I'fists. as th,- yis 

he and if the infraction of this by-law is repeated, 
repetition shall, day by day, constitute, upon summons or 
arrest, a separate offence. , ^ ^ 

Sec. 9.— All by-laws or parts of by-laws inconsistent 
with this by-law are hereby repealed. 

^(■c 10 - Thli by-law shall not have the effect 
of abrogating or repealing any ot the prpvlsions of by law 
No 270, concerning Streets, Roads and Highways, and 

of ite -™»i^«°f l^y ,^^ ^^,11 ,^„, ,nto force immediately. 



may 
such 



M CODE OF BUILDING LAWS. 



BYLAW TO AMEND BYLAW No. 419, ENTITLED "BY- 
LAW CONCEENINO THE EEBCTION OF BUILDINGS 
ON .INOEES STEEET, BETWEEN LASALLE STeSbT 
AND OHUEOH AVENUE," AS AMENDED BY 
BYLAW No. 447, ADOPTED ON THE 19TH 
JANUAEY, 1912. 

No. 468, Adopted 9Ui December, 1912. 

Sec. ] .-Section 1 o! bylaw No. 149, as replaced bv 

Sing'^' ""-"'* ''°- "'• '" "«■"" replaTedry th^ 

^..y^;.^'^^""^ "'" building erected on Angers St., bet- 
ween l.ecaron St. and Gait Avenue, shall be built at a 
distance of at least 10 feet from the homologated line and 
the space so reserved shall be free from any building 
.«, », KK ^°*«ve'-. be lawful to erect on the frontage of 
lll.J]''^ '""''^'"*' ^*°°P»' porticos, balconies, galS and 

5^3raS-if-hrrTra^fur''%o^-£?^n 

nor^'^^V h~7!!'^ ^^ '*'*' "''"" be considered as forming 
rse-'ard lo-'^'ainth^r-ntl'ts-td^plnl-"''^ ^^ -- 

LAW CONCEENING THE EEECTION oJ ISiM ^" 
^°AS\ CERTAIN STEEETS m ST HENB?^" 
WABD, AS AMENDED BY BY-LAW No r29.'' 

No. 469, Adopted 16Ui December, 1912. 
P.a,.gi^^.„^,r',|-;^,^N- ^:^„^^^^-^ by re- 
any'^ood^'^ti di'n;^''itt"caled™^^^b*r[c\"^'°^'S. "' ■""- 

section". ■^««°"«t'^""6d m accordance with the following 
by ^^^ J.^l^X'^.ZZ"^- amended 



CODE OF BUILDl.VO LAWS. 



ih.n h- h !,?'.°' *''* »W«''-«lk to the top of the roof and 
•hall be built in accordance mlth the by-laws in force" 

«. r'^^rrt'^h. ''r'"-'^ ■''"" ''*"" '""■* °' by-law No. ■ 358 
{t'ee By-laws No8. 3,58, 429 and 434). 



^^i^JJL ^EI'EAL BY-LAW3 No.. 11 AND 19 OF THE 

rOEMEK VILLAGE OF BORDEAUX OONOEEKINO 

BUIL0IN08. 

No. 470, Adopted 10th January, 1913. 

Hec. 1.— By-law No. 11, entitled "By-law concernlne th. 
erection of buildings in the Village of Bordlux" and by! 

IZ, "vfotb adopted by the aaid Village of Bordeaux 

previous to Its annexation to the City of Montreal, are 
hereby repealed, and the by-laws of the said City concern- 
ing buildings shall apply to the said Village of Bordeaux 
now forming Bordeaux Ward of the said City. ' 

This clause shall not be construed as derogating from 
vested rights under the aforesaid by-laws. 



I 



CODK OF BUILDING LAWS. 



BOILER INSPECTION 
By-Laws 



BY LAW BEBFEOTINO SMOKE NUISANCE. 

No. 130, Adopted Tth May 1877. 

ScQ 7.— Every proprietor or tenant of any engine, steam 
boiler, factory, cheminal w^'kii or other workebop or ea- 
tablisbment witbin the Umlta ol said City, or using tbe sa- 
me, shall, when notified to do so by tbe Inspector of 
Boilers, under Instructions by bim received from the Fire 
Committee, provide such apparatus as will consume the 
smoke and gas escaping therefrom, so as to effectually re- 
move and abate any nuisance arising from the working of 
such establishment; and every such proprietor, owner, and 
tenant shall have tbe said apparatua approved of by the 
said Inspector; and any person offending against any of tbe 
provislono prescribed in tbe present section, shall be liable 
to a penalty of one hundred dollars tor the first offence, 
and in defa>. i;nmedlate payment of the said penalty 

and coats, to „„ imppriaonment no,t exceeding two calen- 
dar months, unless the fine and coats shall have been paid 
beforn the expiration of said delay, and to a further fine 
of fifty dollars per day for each and every day tbe sa'. 1 
offender shall continue to carry on such entabliahment in 
violation of this section. 



BT-LAW CONOEBNINO STEAM BOILEBS. 

No. 108, Adopted on tbe 7tb May 1877. 

INSPECTOR. 

,Sec. 1.— A competent and skillful person shall be ap- 
pointed by the said f'ov.ncil, under the title nf "INSPKC- 
TOR OF BOILERS", whose duty it oball be to make ins- 
pection of, examine and test steam boilers, in tbe City of 
Montreal, as hereinfter provided; but no person shall be 
appointed to such otHce, unless be is the bolder of a certi- 
ficate of "competency" as engineer of tbe First class, gran- 



luo 



tJuuK ny BLiLDi.sa laws. 



teU bjr the buard of Inipection cimitltutKl hy virtue o( tbe 
3lBt Victoria, chap. 65 of the Domlniun I'urllament 

Sec. 2.- The wid Inapector ahall be under the contml of 
the Fire Cnminittee of the laid Council, and shall make 
report to the eaid Committee at the end of every year 
irlvlng full particulars of the worn performed, and the 
amountfi received by him aa auch inapector. 

i^ec. 3.— The said Inapertor shall not receive, directly or 
ind i-ectly, from any manufacturer or aeller of steam 
IwUera, any consideration, or reward, or any fee or com- 
mlasion, other than those authoriied by this liy Law nor 
shall he have any peraonal Intereat whataoever In any eatii 
bllahment wherein ateam bollera are made or aold, or show 
any undue favor to any undlvldual or company eniEaired in 
the manufacture or sale of such boilers. 

ItOILKly. 

.Sec 4 -No peraon shall use any boiler for the genera- 
tion of steam or for heating purposes In public or private 
buildings m the said rity, when the pressure used eic«da 
five pounds per square Inch, until the aame shall have been 
yj *"'"'"«'< andteated by the aaid inapector and un"a 
Ji^ '"f''«f°'','-'>all hav-e furnished to such person a rprtit 
r.»^ ' f \k '"L"" °' .*"• •ehedule A appended to th.s By- 
Law) to the effect that the same Is constructed In the 
njanner hereinafter provided^ and It shall be the duty of 
the suld Inspector to examine, and if necessary, teat once 
a year, every such boiler, and to grant to any Person usfng 
Tciiorit\Z^TnT'^' "'"='' »""""• examination and ins' 
fts flt?inla h,?t in T'" "PPTST" °' ""':'' 'team boiler and 
Its fittings, but In no case shall a certificate be given until 
after a satisfactory inspection has been made hy%a"l i„"! 

-Sec ..--Such certificate shall be up or posted in a cnn 
rtiCte'd'".^" -r-an^?""" " ^^'^ -»" '"' «Hich Th 

thai the'Li/h^, " '"'"^'""^ ""« """« therem.i" order 
vi^,^» . w^"."*' """^ ''« luly examined and tested nre 

Sec 7 The Z::? "■ i;^,^^'"• "'•■" -atenils ' "" 
«ec. 7.- -The inspector shall have nc<rp» tn „ii u .. 

suhiect to manection under ?his Bv'l^^nd m," .^^Xl 
ca:ae''LV''bo'[^r'To''^be''sto:ne"d''^or'"'" "%"'«"^^ -""^" 

sii-d-^bXr*" v/t '* nVeXno"'5o"';o':tr th;,.;nH^e 

CJ^TJ '^.^ovIded't^batTf anv' h"','^ ?"''^''"'' "^ ^''^ '^^ 
proMoen that if any boiler is so set and incased 



f ^^K "►' Bi;iLUl.S(i LA Wh. ,„ 

crtmiat. until the "wLr of ..thT*',"'"!" '" «'""' " 

-.^.o...to, . « r..=to'„^'S tt":Lrr:ut:;:.. r,i 

«ec. 8.— The itunUard maximum preuure nlinwahi. 
^nch in thickne.. ..tn i ,, 'f"". "t l«««t one i.uartiT ..( 

int? rLinil ^V"" ','"' """'"y "' material ahall be taken 
wirti "'""■ '" °" ■"«" W»e, however, shall "" 

working preMure exceed the above mentioned limit. 
determi'neZn . worklnR pressure of a boiler has b«.n 

e^nJif^^A "'°"»«"'. and before the inspection has been 

»tr™?th f''°'' 'l***,' '"* '""P"*"'- may further prove l^e 
strength of sucu boiler, by subjecting it to a teast by hydro" 
tatlc pressure, the extent of which shall In no case exceed 

r,' h*°!;""/ """"" "y ■°°« "■»" "»' "a" or in rat" o1 
me hundred and fifty pounds test pressure to one hm Sred 

tr-hanTn":^ "''";""• ^"^ "■""' "' the said hydr "statH 
dtferml„!.hr''°u, '"'""' " •"■'" "1"'" *'>i<^h t" increase „r 
determine the working pressure nor shall such test of itself 

hoilerT,1 t7,""l'™* ?>'a-^ntee for the saJ^y of aty 
boiler, but shall be applied simply for the purpose cf 

IV, Z\L "°"", .™ay red"" the working pressure from 
the maximum wortinc; pressure allowed, to any less press- 
ure which he n, ,1 em sufficient for his purpose in which 
ft^ lr\ •''>'"';'""'^ t"' to "e applied in proportion; he 
temperature of water used for sdch test shall not exceed 
ninety dcRrees Fahrenheit. 

hv ~f; i""7'!/''* '"«!'«*"■■ i« "' opinion that any boiler, 
by reaeon of Its construction or material or from the heha 
viour under the test, will not safely allow so high a work- 
ing pressure as aforesaid, he may. for reasons to be stated 
specially in his certificate, fix the worting pressure of such 

I'nM.m-. -M l,.^.» rlllin two lliinN „f (h.^ (.■»! |,f.Mirv ,,i„ 

vided that If the inspector, upon examination of any boiler 
should consider It, or any of Its valves or other fittings 
upon which the safety of such boiler depends, to be made 
in whole or in part, of had material, or to be unsafe fro,,,' 
any cause whatsoever, he may. In that case, refuse to grant 
a certificate giving his reasons for such refusal; which 
reasons shall be duly recorded in a book to he by him kept 
for that purpose and communicated to the owner of the 
boiler by a written notice from the inspector.